Jessie Reyez further cements her presence in the R&B realm with her new project ‘Yessie’

30 September 2022 / by Jordyn Lalonde
Album reviews
Jessie Reyez Yessie
Released: September 16, 2022
Label: FMLY, Island Records
R&B / R&B/Soul / Rap
Alina Baraz / Dounia / Kiana Ledé
Only One, Still C U, Tito’s, Forever

Jessie Reyez brings Latin-inspired cinematic rhythmic beats and vocal rapping in the next chapter of her music career with her new album Yessie. 

Jessie Reyez is a Canadian singer and songwriter. She was born in 1991 in the Jane and Finch area of Toronto, Canada. Inspired by her father, she began playing guitar, leading her to pursue a career in the music industry. Reyez’s journey began in 2016 with her hit single “Figures,” which became a multi-platinum hit in Canada, earning her a Juno Award for Breakthrough Artist of the Year. The most recent award Reyez won was the Juno Award for Music Video of the Year in 2021 for her song “NO ONE’S IN THE ROOM” video. Yessie is Jessie’s 4th album, which consists of 11 songs about love, loss, closure, healing and happiness. 

In Yessie, Reyez stays consistent with her R&B sound from previous albums. Most songs consist of trap beats with layered guitar picks, making them the perfect tracks to listen to with friends or a significant other. She contrasts rapped parts with soft vocal melodies, differentiating this album from others. Nevertheless, the lyrics are still personal, and she has kept the same raspy vocal tone that made her famous. Occasionally, the lyrics don’t flow quite well with the beat. When she says, “It is what it is,” in a scratchy voice in the song “Mutual Friend,” it doesn’t match the other tones in the music and sounds off-putting. 

“Only One” starts with a rocking 90s beat and a catchy melodic hook when she sings “Priority.” It has musical breaks and is the only clean song on her album, which is good for anyone to listen to. It’s such an easy listen that the three minutes go by quickly, and based on its millions of streams to date, it’s one of the best songs on her album. “Still C U” has an awesome introduction with her vocal riffs. The beat’s pacing and her falsetto singing enhance her spot in the R&B/Soul genre. When she says “Yuh” multiple times throughout the song, it can seem slightly jarring, but once the other lyrics come up, it sounds much smoother. She also has a cool lyrical section where she repeats rhyming words like “down,” “found,” and “pound” in clusters of three. “Emotional Detachment Demo” is quite different from the other songs because, at one point, she stops singing, starts talking and then a new beat comes into play. Normally, demos start at the beginning of an album, but this one is the second last one. This song sounds more like talking than singing, which could dissuade certain listeners, but the sudden change pulled me back in to want to hear more. 

Yessie has many contrasting songs that make for an exciting and original album. I don’t typically listen to Reyez, but I did enjoy listening to a few of her songs off this album.