Published Jul 26, 2018Jazz Cartier is a name that has been ringing bells since 2015's Marauding in Paradise. Poised for success like a lot of other homegrown acts who have crept through the door that Drake kicked wide open, Cartier has remained in a one-hit-away position from bursting the mainstream bubble, despite taking home an award for best rap recording with his 2016 sophomore mixtape, Hotel Paranoia. His major label debut, Fleurever, could prove to be the bubble-popping pin he'd been searching for.
The 16-song effort is brighter than his previous releases. That's not to say it's not the edgy Jazz Cartier that day-one fans have come to love. It is, but more polished and… happier. He's in a whole different mind state, and it comes across in the eclectic, yet remarkably cohesive track list. The "something to prove" chip on his shoulder seems to have been replaced with thoughtful reflection and developed songwriting.
The undeniable bop and self-realization of the album opener "Soul Searcher," the female-focused vibes of the mid-album run ("IDWFIL," "Sex Machina" and "Distractions"), and the undeniable single "Tempted" take listeners on a journey littered with gems about growing up, showing out, and living life on the cusp of greatness. "Before It's Too Late," the album's outro, is a lyrical smorgasbord worthy of maximum rewind button punches — almost reminiscent of the energy of "100 Roses."
"We all know that my time is coming," he proclaims in the final bars of the outro. With a chronic lack of significant features despite his high profile, Jazz isn't reliant on anyone else's buzz — nor does he seem concerned with pandering to any market other than Canada. Fleurever is genuinely a metaphorical coming out for the 25-year-old rapper, who has finally come into his own. For anyone who has been following the journey, it's a big moment. If all goes as planned, it will be the first step into a new orbit. (Universal)