“When I wake to the morning sun/ Then I’ll sleep till the morning fall” Jordan Rakei croons only a few seconds into the opener on his debut EP, Franklin’s Room, his voice warm and optimistic. It seems immediately clear: This is an earnest and soulful R&B/soul record, following the timeless sonic mold set by greats like Stevie Wonder. But this presumption is shattered when, only a minute later, the track segues into a reggae rhythm. As his Facebook page mentions, Jordan is “an artist that is trying to change the blueprint.”
Franklin’s Room is a sweet, sumptuous melting pot of soul, R&B, and reggae. As odd as pairing reggae with soul may sound in theory, Jordan makes them blend together to sound naturally harmonious. This can be seen on the opener, My Time, and at certain moments on Hope, a slow-burning piano ballad, that also charts into neo-soul territory. It’s not until Selfish, however, that we see Jordan doing full-fledged reggae. The track offers five full minutes of pure, chill-out music, and a chorus that you’ll have trouble getting out of your head. While Get Up and Living in the Past continue the catchy, rhythmic reggae of Selfish, Jordan decides to end the EP with the minimal, but lively, Imagine. The song rides on some sparse drumming and bass before erupting into an epic funk rock coda.
Favorite Track: Selfish, Get Up
1. My Time
4. Get Up
5. Living in the Past