Published Oct 19, 2018Has there been a recent Canadian artist who has created a global buzz compared to Toronto's Jessie Reyez? Her raw, naked, off-kilter, give-no-effs approach to songwriting is connecting on almost an instinctual level. Dropping a seven-track EP instead of a full-length only serves to build anticipation and audience; Being Human in Public accomplishes what it sets out to do with an unabashed verve.
"I think about dying every day… I've been told that's a little strange," Reyez sings in "Saint Nobody," building off previous outings and building a self-aware, introspective platform that mines R&B and pop elements for a sound that's fresh and grounded. Reyez is all too aware and connected to human fallibility and foibles, and is able to convey them with unflinching impact.
Anthems like "Apple Juice" speak to the pain of love and loving, "Fuck Being Friends" blows up the flaws in the "friends-with-benefits" model, and "Dear Yessie" drops bars at a frenetic pace while exploring the nature of being "real."
"Imported" makes concessions to the present R&B sound and sets itself up perfectly for streaming playlists, while the Normani & Kehlani collab on "Body Count" is all-empowering, all in-your-face track, with each party working seamlessly together to make the proceedings work.
At present, there is no template for Jessie Reyez: she is the template. Being Human in Public is yet more evidence that her arrival on the scene was for real. (FMLY/Island)