REVIEW: Jaymes Young – ‘Dark Star’

Dark Star

Artist: Jaymes Young
Album: Dark Star
Genre: Indie, R&B, Pop, Alternative
RIYL: Active Child, How To Dress Well, James Blake

Here are a couple facts about me: Seattle is quite possibly my favorite place I’ve been to in the US. I live in California and I’ve never been to Los Angeles, but I’ve never really had a desire to go.

Here’s a fact about Jaymes Young: he used to live in Seattle but recently uprooted and started a new life in LA. If that move and the new atmosphere had anything to do with how his new mixtape, Dark Star, turned out, I may need to get my ass to the City of Angels and get my creative juices flowing.

Jaymes Young may not be a name you recognize, and that’s understandable. He has a modest 2,700 “likes” on Facebook and doesn’t seem to be the type to cram his project down your throat. I mean, he currently releases his music for free, so he’s still got a lot of career ahead of him. Well, I should say that if he continues to make music like he’s making now, he’ll have a lot of career ahead of him.

Young is completely in control of his craft. Between his alluring and seductive vocal stylings, his sometimes ambient but always impressive R&B production, and contagious hooks and choruses that’ll bounce around in your brain like a game of Pong, every one of the 13 tracks found on his new release is worthy of your attention and worthy of a much larger audience – a currently non-existent audience that is missing out greatly.

From the wobbly, pulsating opener and title track, “Dark Star,” you immediately get a sense of what you’re in for from Jaymes Young on this release. He puts you in the mood to just kick back, close your eyes, sway a little in your seat, and soak it all in like the sun. Other standout cuts include, but are certainly not limited to, the radio-ready and lyrically sexy, “One Last Time,” the gorgeously droney slow-burner, “Fragments,” and the upbeat Klaxons-esque, “Hold You Down.”

Another noteworthy effort is the impressive stripped-down Haddaway rendition at the mixtape’s midsection. If you’re anything like me and never understood the hype surrounding “What Is Love?” beyond the hokey A Night At The Roxbury head-bobbing imitations, then you may find the answer to the song’s repetitive question by experiencing Young’s gracefully arresting re-imagining of the popular club hit. Had I not recognized the distinctive chorus, I may have never even known this was a cover.

The only affliction Dark Star seems to suffer from is repetition, and in this case, it’s not even necessarily a bad thing per se. For me, the tape never gets boring, but I could imagine how it could to some as nearly all the tracks have a similar structure and layout. 13 tracks could seem like a little much but they flow so fluidly that it never feels like it’s dragging or needs to have any bits cut out. It certainly plays more like an album than a traditional “mixtape” but do labels really matter at all when the music’s this good?

Basically what I’m saying is that, especially due to the fact that Young has been generous enough to give away this effort for free, you should be listening to it…right now. It just dropped today and it’s hands down one of the best releases in its respective genre this year. Jaymes Young’s audience will undoubtedly grow vast in no time and no matter what city he lives in, they’ll be a better one for having such a talent call it home.

SCORE: 9/10
Review written by: Brian Lion – Follow him on Twitter

Download Dark Star here!

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Brian Leak

Editor-In-Chief. King of forgetting drinks in the freezer. Pop culture pack rat. X-Phile. LOST apologist.
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