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Concert Review: Jordan Rakei Is The King of Jazz Pop At Rough Trade

Jordan Rakei is a Jazz-Pop king. Believe it or not, some people do not like jazz. I KNOW! It is the most elaborate, soul-fulfilling genre that a lot of people could care less about, and I get it. Jazz thrives off of complexity and grabbing your ears down a wind-tunnel of sounds that are supposed to tell a story even you might prefer a voice and a verse. Yet, in a world where infusions are keys to music mainstream, Rakei brought the complexity of jazz with splashes of simple R&B and pop to Rough Trade.

Rakei’s voice might as well be edible as he riffs up simple hooks and catchy-phrases to the crowd. His concert was 100% for those that are in love or, at least, are looking to be. Couples gathered looking starry-eyed as Rakei shot up notes that could compete with the moon for height and glow. He is so in control of his voice that he could teach opera at The Met Opera House. I watched in glee seeing him sword, swift, and strike notes with emotional cuts that felt precise in depth. He is so aware of his capacities and where he wants to take you, the listener, that you cannot help but give into his concert. If you came in exhausted or in a bad mood from work, by the end, you were bopping your head and smiling at his sweet, self-consciousness. Rakei stays behind his keys, and approaches the crowd like he is the happiest man to every receive a gift or rather your attendance. His coy friendliness only made the crowd love him more, and played into his songs about being the “aware” partner of a relationship, or rather the one that sees the issues and has the heart to fix them, despite his or her partner’s desire to deny. Thus, the irony is that, for being a musician and performer for romance, a lot of his songs were about heartache or being with someone who is destining you for it.

People were closing their eyes and began singing to tracks, “Selfish”, “Lost Myself”, and even newest tracks “Goodbyes” and “Nerve”, which are apart of his September 22 album, Wallflower. Yet, his music bounces with feel-good, jazzy grooves that completely counter themes that are all about not feeling your best in love. I note this irony because that is the magic of Jordan Rakei as an artist/ live show; he makes you dance and giggle in love even when he is singing to falling out of it. Hence, Jordan Rakei is a star. He brings the maturity of jazz in sound and poignant lyricism to fresh Millennial ears, and will make future generations appreciate more that a layered arrangement is a symbol for a layered soul. For More Information On Jordan Rakei Click Here.