"I told you I'm a loco Colombian, now" Toronto-raised Jessie Reyez proclaims on "Fuck It," the opening track of her new EP, Kiddo. New school R&B tends to operate in this kind of "profanity as verisimilitude" mode, but whether one subscribes to that performance method or not, it's not hard to find something to like on the singer-songwriter's much anticipated, seven-track release.
Kiddo deals in equal parts emotional availability, intelligence and vulnerability. Previously heard tracks "Shutter Island" and "Figures" are multifaceted echoes of her soul, glimpses of emotion and reason that depict a fully realized individual who's greater than the sum of her parts. The EP follows along this wavelength, as Reyez expounds her forthright views on life, love and the connective emotional tissue in-between.
"Toronto is my city," she declares, setting the locale on the anthemic energizer that is "Blue Ribbon." The boom-bap of "Gatekeepers" explores the potential price of fame, symbolically and literally speaking, taking its lyrical and melodic cues from House of Balloons-era Abel Tesfaye. Closing things out are the interlude "Voice Mail" and the pop-minded "Great One," its piano strains underscoring its all-or-nothing metric when it comes to love.
With Kiddo, Reyez proves she's musically fearless yet frank, ripping open emotional convention to mine the prickly realities that lie beneath. It's the reason she is generating buzz and momentum as she works towards her inevitable and anticipated full-length release. (Universal)