Monday, October 9th, 2017

Jacquees – B.E.D.

Frère Jacquees, dormez vous?


Julian Axelrod: This is prime 2017 R&B with a classicist’s touch, light enough for foreplay but sturdy enough to shoulder verses from Quavo and Ty Dolla $ign on the inevitable remix. Jacquees’s falsetto is refreshingly vulnerable and desperate without sacrificing an ounce of cool. And the real magic happens in the outro, where our hero practically falls to his knees amid a choir of Jacqueeses (Jacquii?) wailing, “Say yeah.” As if we had any other choice.

Leah Isobel: The beat is great, swirly and undulating like it’s caught in shifting water currents. I’m not convinced that Jacquees’s girl is actually that interested in anything more than sex, and I don’t like when men project their emotions on to lovers; it doesn’t help that his vocal is a little reedy and too vibrato-heavy to fully get across the confidence he’s trying to sell. Killer harmonies on the outro, though.

Ashley John: Jacquees stitches familiar pieces together without any pretense. “B.E.D.” features raunchy lyrics with sugary sweet harmonies, but the second ends up winning out. No matter the front he’s trying to put up, it’s the melodies that stick around in my head after, even if it’s only for a little while. 

Jonathan Bradley: Suitably sleepy for such a title, and if Jacquees gets seamy on the hook (“I know you want to love, but I just want to fuck”) his rude candor brings to mind the pungency of “Some Cut” or — better fitting this production — Tiara Thomas’s flip of the same. Because this is a beautifully intricate slow jam: comfortable and eerie at the same time, with Jacquees’s cadences switching from post-Migos bursts of rapping to uncharacteristically trad R&B phrasings that might better belong a quarter-century ago.

Anthony Easton: Why would any woman want to fuck Jacquees, what with his casual misogyny, and his dated production over a pretty direct Kanye rip-off on the vocals. 

Iain Mew: Sounding compellingly emotional about not wanting to be emotional is a hard act to keep spinning, but he manages it, at least until the spelling out in the title line turns things distractingly forced. It doesn’t even work rhythmically, never mind as something easy to picture someone actually saying.

Alfred Soto: From the way his tenor can sound at once desperate and sated, this Cash Money signee knows his Usher as singer and love man, coaxed out by the terrific ticktock insistence of the verses. G.O.O.D.

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