Press an inquisitive ear close to Jacob Collier’s bedroom door and you would be forgiven to think there’s a party going on.
Newcomers to Collier will find themselves thumbing through the CD sleeve trying to ascertain the guest list and their stella contributions: perhaps Sigur Rós serving drinks; D’Angelo sharing out the nibbles; J Dilla already asleep on the sofa; whilst Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder and Quincy Jones have a good catch up in the corner. Those who have followed his rise from YouTube innovator to international jazz festival essential will know that, despite its diversity, Jacob Collier’s new album ‘In My Room’ is a solo album of a unique nature. When Collier collaborates, it is with himself: every note he sings is harmonised, layered and re-harmonised to within a semi-tone of familiarity by a cherubic chorus of miniature Jacobs.
The Collier choir is at its most exalted soaring through ‘You and I’. His tenor and bass ranges resonate with space and maturity that has been missing from the constant adventure and exploration of his output to date, but that’s not to say the arrangement falls anywhere short of invention. Similarly on the titular track, musical dexterity adopts a supporting role to the purity of Wilson’s lyric and melody. ‘In the Real Early Morning’ is a transcendent meditation lifted by a chorus of perfect blend.
These moments of serene introspection are jewels within a handsome plunder that distracts and dazzles with every turn. A fripperous somersault through the Flintstones theme is a welcome reference to Collier’s early YouTube offerings, but it is on ‘Saviour’ that Collier leaves his teenage years behind, turns up the stereo and kicks his way through the rulebook as the party steps up to another level: rhythmic displacement, gurgling bass lines and an anarchic lyrical attitude bring the funk. The closing track, ‘Don’t You Know’, sweeps up every favourite feature of the album and rewards with a dizzying display of Collier’s hurtling keyboard skills.
There’s a party in Jacob Collier’s room; grab his album and get yourself on the guest list.
In My Room is released on 1 July 2016 via a worldwide label services licensing deal with Membran. If your mind can handle it, see him live.