My only saving grace during this Quarantine has been music and with everyone postponing their albums, it’s been a stressful few weeks for me. However, Jessie Reyez was my saving grace last Friday and her debut album, BEFORE LOVE CAME TO KILL US, has been on heavy rotation ever since it’s release.
Jessie Reyez took her time with her debut album; it was EP, after single, after another EP from her and I was almost certain that her full-length album would never get to see the light of day. Well, turns out Jessie Reyez took her time for a reason and we have been absolutely blessed during these Quarantimes (don’t you dare let me take credit for that, Rafael Casal came up with Quarantimes and shared it with Twitter).
My introduction to Jessie Reyez was via her first single “Figures”, so I’ve always known that she lives her best life in a vulnerable space. However, this album exceeds any emotional expectation that I had for the album. The first song, “Do You Love Her” discusses the demise of a relationship and it is gut-wrenching in the way that it walks you through it. Jessie Reyez is unapologetic in her pain and if she’s hurting, then everyone is going to feel it!
Jessie Reyez has made an art out of thriving in her vulnerability. Her lyrics tell stories that are often difficult to listen to, her voice aches with every single note and the music composition adds a layer to the heartbreak and the audience never see the emotional ride coming. Though her songs revolve around love, Jessie often finds herself exploring the violence that can surface within a relationship. She explores a toxic relationship and the dangers of it in “Coffin” feat. Eminem.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been craving for an artist that beautifully walked the line of a Latin artist and an American one. I have searched for the proper representation and Jessie Reyez feels like a breath of fresh air in this regard. Jessie has always shared her pride in her Colombian roots and she is the representation I’ve been needing all my life. In her first EP, Kiddo, she included a voicemail from her parents. Her EP Being Human In Public included a song in Spanish, “Sola”. In her album she has gifted us with “La Memoria” (“The Memory”). This song will fit perfectly in the broken pieces of your heart. It tells the story of someone you’re trying to forget, it wishes ill to the person that broke your heart and it is as unapologetic in its pain as Jessie Reyez can get.
Again, BEFORE LOVE CAME TO KILL US is an album that I have lived with for the better part of the last 6 days and my favorite song appeared on my first listen. “Kill US” is Jessie’s most soulful on this album, her voice trembles in the ache and it feels like an intimate experience to listen to this song. “Kill Us” may just contain my favorite Pre-Chorus in any song.
BEFORE LOVE CAME TO KILL US is a strong debut album and nothing will prepare you for the emotional rollercoaster that Jessie Reyez promises to take you on with her 14 songs. This album is a clear indication of what we should expect from Jessie Reyez and I, for one, am ecstatic to be along for the ride.