Published Feb 09, 2016Majid Jordan have always been somewhat secretive. Discovered by Drake's producer and right-hand man Noah "40" Shebib in 2011, the Toronto electronic-R&B pair — singer Majid Al Maskati and producer Jordan Ullman — have spent the five last years in the studio under OVO's wing. In 2013, they demonstrated their superstar quality by co-writing Drake's "Hold On, We're Going Home"; the smash was a modern dance/R&B fusion, more in line with Majid Jordan's sound than Drake's. On their debut, self-titled LP, Majid Jordan step out from behind the scenes to present their best work yet.
While the pair's 2014 EP A Place Like This, exuded the pair's trademark moodiness and mystery, this new LP features sharper sonics, production and lyricism. Al Maskati has a distinct voice, and it shows most when he croons or rises to his falsetto voice, so high that he almost fades into a whisper, as he does on the 40, Frank Duke, and Jamie xx co-production "Learn from Each Other." "Warm," meanwhile, finds Al Maskati singing in early 2000s R&B-style over an Illangelo-co-produced, downtempo beat whose charm stems from its buttery instrumentation and sparse simplicity.
Elsewhere: the Drake-assisted "My Love" and "Something About You" retain the radio-smashing quality that hints at Majid Jordan's lofty potential; the funky "Day and Night" features strong drum kits, delicate electric piano and ends with a lengthy hovering synth; "King City," easily the most romantic and soaring track on the LP, stays true to the duo's melancholy after-hours personas. Finally, the soft, '60s-inspired "Shake, Shake, Shake" consists of easy-going, contagious lyrics that guide and buoy the song: "I-I-I-I'm letting loose / I can't wait to see you shake, shake, shake."
On Majid Jordan, it's clear the Toronto pair have refined their sound, with subtle but meaningful touches that make for a stunning, cohesive work of art. (OVO Sound)