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Jacy And Berhanu by enamjaiii (REACTION/REVIEW)

★★★: Good; fans of the artist will find value here.

Jacy And Berhanu by enamjaiii

Released: 24 June 2022

Borrowing heavily from the low-fi aesthetics of MIKE and Earl Sweathshirt, enamjaii’s Jacy And Berhanu is an amibitous step into the low-fidelity distortion aesthetic side-of-Hip-Hop, where slightly inaudible lyrics meets spacey-production.

Although I do enjoy the production (in terms of beats) on the album, one of my main critiques is the production (in terms of overall sound direction). I think the entire Jacy And Berhanu project would benefit from less distorted lyrics from Jai – namely because of it’s depth of introspective lyrical content. In certain parts of the album, it feels like listeners are missing important lyrics from Jai, due to the muttered vocal effects. Allowing these lyrics to be more audible/understandable will result in a heavier, more impactful project – since the lyrical content largely consists of self-introspection in the form of doubt, reminiscence, and sulking – topics many listeners can relate to.

Each feature on Jacy And Berhanu sounds great, and is proof that one can keep the low-fidelity, distorted sound aesthetic, while simultaneously providing audible lyrics.

To end this review, I’d like to draw a parallel to Quelle Chris’ Deathfame album, where lyrics take a backseat to the overall soundscape of the album. In my review/reaction of Deathfame, I mention that Deathfame can be listened to multiple ways: 1 way, as background music (that is, by simply taking in the overall production aesthetic of the album), or it can be listened to deeply (by taking in the overall lyrical content).

With Deathfame, Quelle Chris created an album that is aesthetically pleasing, by matching the lyrics/flow/vocal effects perfectly to the unique production and effectively using his voice as an instrument –– while still delivering impactful lyrics. On Jacy And Berhanu, I feel like enamjaiii attempts to do this – and even succeeds such as on track #6 “Tokoro” – but for me, a chunk of the album feels like a battle between trying to absorb the album for either its production value, or as a lyrical offering (with the latter being difficult due to the inaudible lyrics).

The same point where Jacy And Berhanu causes me internal conflict, is where Quelle ChrisDeathfame exceeds. Both of these reviews are worth checking out, due to this contrast.

Overall, Jacy And Berhanu is an adventurous project with multiple different looks on production. Each feature comes at the right time and delivers a slightly different vibe than enamjaiii, making their appearances very enjoyable. We just wish we could understand Jai’s plight more.. through some of the inaudible lyrics!

★★★: Good; fans of the artist will find value here.

Jacy And Berhanu enamjaiii
Jacy And Berhanu enamjaiii

Rating Categories:
★★★★★: Best in show; pinnacle release from an all-time great artist.
★★★★1/2: Stellar example of genre; peak potential.
★★★★: Excellent; recommended to all fans of artist or genre.
★★★1/2: Very good; a few bland songs or minor flaws throughout.
★★★: Good; fans of the artist will find value here.
★★1/2: Average; does little to establish the artist or maintain quality.
★★: Unexceptional; a few highlights but otherwise bland.
★1/2: Weak; unrecommended for anyone but major fans of the style and/or artist.
★: Seriously flawed; very poor work but relatively listenable.
1/2: Terrible; a true embarrassment and akin to audio masochism.

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