SMS #53 | Jahmal Padmore – Esparonto


Quite a sweet mood is lit up as Sorted begins via the easy-going and tranquil production, and Jahmal makes a welcoming first impression, as he comes to realise the faults in his relationship and is willing back to make amends and change for the better. Ride is nudged along by a quietly bopping beat and swell bassline, making for a track that is equal parts chilled and catchy, and the electricity in the air continues to ream all the bigger as it jaunts toward the end.

Sunday In The Living Room sees Jahmal take the time to sit down and pledge his case in order to repair the domestic rifts, but as Benja’s brief but effective guest verse underlines, there are still lingering doubts in the mind. Next is Pretty, definitely the best cut so far, not only being sonically stellar and pretty infectious, but Jahmal, riding off soul and passion, doesn’t hold back admitting his flaws, how they’ve caused issues, and that overcoming old habits is going to be a challenge.

On Without states simply that the past is the past, nothing can be done to change it, and that it’s best to make a fresh start towards a brighter future; also, the sax solo is a thing of beauty. Matthew Progress’ staunch rapping steals the show in the great and memorable Operator, where Jahmal is also really convincing expressing the fears of a potential fallout and hiding himself away in denial by clinging onto precious nostalgic memories.

Then in Your Joy, through his most excellent performance yet, he really pushes selfless devotion and his determination to ensure his lover’s happiness first and foremost above all else, and the tune matches up to his fire with a contagious rhythm and brimming guitar-helmed melody. Cut The Rope is a cracking interluding piece encompassed by sizzling ambience, neat chords and grooving electronics.

And after all the turmoil, Jahmal ends up going alone as detailed through his zealous outpouring in the instrumentally-meaty Instigation, coming to the conclusion, with keen assistance from Keita Juma, that the pain and the pressure trying to maintain and fully commit to the partnership was just too much and the logical final act was to simply call it off and find peace flying solo, but as the conclusive So Cold depicts, it’s a difficult to task to accept, leaving Jahmal crying out for some form of warmth and comfort from the one he’s now lost.

There are so few records that I’ve experienced this year where I’ve found myself totally hooked and entranced to its content without a break of attention from beginning to end, but that’s exactly the case with the Toronto R&B artist and his phenomenal, wholly fixating debut album that could possibly set him on course to becoming Canada’s next breakout star down the line; talent like this can’t be dusted under the rug.


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