Thursday, February 28th, 2019

Lolo Zouaï ft. Blood Orange – Jade

French-Algerian singer moves to New York, meets Dev Hynes, ends up on the Jukebox…


Joshua Minsoo Kim:
My words spilt out
in splotchy blues.

You trace their path,
stake the ground,
claim the earth,
auger deep.

I writhe like
worms on
rain-fed mornings:
I could never hide
from you.


Katherine St Asaph: Simultaneously featherweight and tense, understated and intricate, “Jade” sounds both like the ’90s — the whispered interludes, the nocturnal guitar solo, the percussion line that tiptoes toward drum and bass — and like today’s more forward-focused R&B. Blood Orange continues to quietly impress, and Zouaï recalls a Jhené Aiko whose bloodstream hasn’t been fully replaced with cannabis.

Iris Xie: This song didn’t start making much sense to me until I sang all the not-quite melodies in order — none of these verses are meant to merge at all, and they’re in eternal disconnect. It’s ironic, maybe intentionally so, that “Something to hold on to” is one of the crux lines of this song, considering that Lolo Zouaï and Blood Orange sound like they are singing and walking around an empty core of a song, with the strums, whispers, and ad libbing swirling around them. Even though flourishes burst when Blood Orange enters, especially with that kickdrum, one can’t help feel there’s a feeling of hazy detachment that calls into question the strength of their relationship. As the outro fades away from Lolo Zouaï’s ad libs and Blood Orange’s crooning, the instrumental warps and starts like if the track was going to start erasing itself. This drives home the point that these are lovers not on the same path, but rather, two weak winds trying to lead each other, only to fade out into a murky territory of their personal unknown. 

Juana Giaimo: “Jade” lacks something to join together all the different parts of the song. As it is, Lolo Zouaï’s very delicate voice, the jittery prodution and Blood Orange’s tense fast rap make quite a mess where none of them can shine. 

Alfred Soto: The charm of a demo, the amorphousness too. It opens bit by bit, reluctantly. 

Thomas Inskeep: Decent pop record that improves when Blood Orange gets on the mic and the rhythm track doubles/speeds up. This is the essence of ethereal.

Tim de Reuse: Loose constellations of events overlap and bounce against each other, over a rhythmically unstable beat and synthesizers that feel like they might stumble and fall over on the next downbeat. It succeeds as a gimmick because the runtime is kept concise, and because there are precious few elements in the mix that distract from that central sense of interplay — though, cutting that chessy dream-pop guitar snippet entirely would’ve been a strict improvement.

Reader average: [8] (2 votes)

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