Mr. J Medeiros is back with his third album, “Saudade”. This is his first full album release under his own label, De Medeiros. The rapper decided to go the independent route and “Saudade” should be a good measure of how life without the stings of record labels is going for Medeiros.
Saudade is a Portuguese word that can be found in all Portuguese-speaking countries. Although it has no literal translation in English, like many Romance/Latin words it’s a word filled with passion. The closest translation that can be taken from English is to describe it as a deep nostalgic longing for something; a time gone by perhaps, or maybe a loved one.
Through this album, Medeiros attempts to explore the meanings and concepts that can be taken from a word like “Saudade”, and of course, all through the medium of Hip Hop.
[wpaudio url=”https://www.thewordisbond.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/01-Fear-And-Safety-feat.-Bekah-Wagner.mp3″ text=”Mr. J. Medeiros ft. Bekah Wagner – Fear and Safety” dl=”0″]
The album’s opening track, “Fear and Safety feat. Bekah Wagner”, is one of its strongest songs and one of the best opening tracks I’ve heard in a long time. If I could recommend setting one song as your alarm for the foreseeable future, it’d be this one. It starts slow, Medeiros’ vocals are quiet and Wagner’s soft. The track builds with strings, piano keys and eventually some kicks and snares; eventually leaving you with the feeling that you’re ready to hop out of bed, leave through the door and take on whatever the world has to throw at you.
“Nothing Without Providence” sees Medeiros get his J. Cole on with his fiery voice and statements: “I am not compliant… I am not reliant.” However the song ends, as many on this album do, with a beautiful instrumental to take things smoothly into the next skit or song.
The album is studded with subtle and not so subtle Rock influences. “Stand Down” is an example of Medeiros switching things up completely and forming some unique Hip Rock. “The Weak End” is another track with a Rock-styled hook and flow, though these tracks are embedded within slower tracks and more Hip Hop-sounding ones to create an eclectic mix for listeners to dip in and out of.
[wpaudio url=”https://www.thewordisbond.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/14-Shower-Curtains-feat.-J-Kyle-Gregory.mp3″ text=”Mr. J. Medeiros ft. J Kyle Gregory – Shower Curtains” dl=”0″]
“Shower Curtain” is without a doubt one of the dopest tracks on the album. The format and simplicity of the production is the exact kind that Medeiros thrives under. The simple piano loop and kicks allow the emcee’s rhymes to take centre stage as he kicks some thought provoking rhymes about the world we live in. The horns that eventually accompany the track are a classy touch to a great track.
“Saudade” doesn’t have too many faults. It covers many aspects of life and Hip Hop, from the conscious stuff, to the problems that artists – and of course Medeiros specifically – have with record labels, love and life in general. Medeiros can sound like Blu, Murs, J. Cole and any Rock artists you can name all rolled into one. He’s extremely relatable, the average Joe down the block could bump his music and the not so average Joe up the block might just enjoy it as much for different reasons.
[wpaudio url=”https://www.thewordisbond.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/09-The-Sailor.mp3″ text=”Mr. J. Medeiros – The Sailor” dl=”0″]
As the album drew to a close on my first listen, I was completely blown away by “The Sailor” as Medeiros sings over the funky beat. The production on this album is something to hear alone but is given the added bonus of Medeiros’ voice over it. This is in great part due to Mr. J’s new production team “The Stare”, consisting of Mr. J., Stro, and Luke Atencio.
The only small beef I could possibly pick with this album involves its lack of replay quality and the weakness of Mr. J’s voice. At times it’s as though Medeiros only spits with real tenacity when he consciously seeks to do so, for example on tracks like “Nothing Without Providence.” The replayability factor comes down to taste, although this was a very well crafted album, it just doesn’t appear to have that factor about it that makes you want to pop it in the CD deck over the plethora of other albums that could possibly be there in its place.
[easyreview title=”Word Is Bond Rating” cat1title=”Lyrics” cat1detail=”At times great, at others good, just needs a bit more fire” cat1rating=”3.5″ cat2title=”Production” cat2detail=”One of the best things about the album” cat2rating=”4.5″ cat3title=”Originality” cat3detail=”With the mix of styles, flows and genres, very original” cat3rating=”4″ cat4title=”Replayability” cat4detail=”The weak point of the album” cat4rating=”3″]