Tuesday, June 18th, 2019

Jai Paul – Do You Love Her Now

Maybe not *love*, but we certainly *like* you better now…


Ashley Bardhan: I know everyone loses their shit over Jai Paul, but I never really paid attention him until his 2013 leak was officially released on June 1st. I try to resist the sweet, sweet chug of the hype train as best I can, usually, but I will begrudgingly admit, Jai Paul is very good. I can barely understand a single warble-y word he churns out on this creamy and billowing track, but I know it’s hot. And definitely sad. I love being hot and sad. The mood is elated, the cymbals cry out compressed but defiant. It’s balm for sore spirits, like the kind that releases an album 6 years after it already came out.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: I never cared for Jai Paul’s original leaks, but “Do You Love Her Now” helps capture what I felt everyone else was hearing in those tracks. If (almost) all his previous works were rightfully tagged as demos and unfinished products, then this succeeds purely on sounding confidently suggestive, and never outright conclusive. It feels suspended in time, like a prolonged neo-soul interlude, or a less embarrassing version of How to Dress Well circa — you guessed it — 2013.

Alfred Soto: Oblivious of the hype nine years ago, not blurbing his last full contribution, I endured the first two minutes of “Do You Love Her Now” as a distastefully tasteful amalgam of How to Dress Well, The Weeknd, Frank Ocean: tune-reluctant bedsit R&B by a smart ass who prefers fucking with embryos. Is there even a market for this shit

Tim de Reuse: An empty exercise full of laughing-gas vocals and summery guitar chords, twirling in place for a minute and then fading away when it’s done showing off. I appreciate the level of sonic detail but I don’t get the sense that it’s working towards anything but a vague Jai Paul vibe.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: For a single this dreamy — dreamy both in terms of its beauty and in its aimlessness — I’m drawn to the chugging undercurrent of “Do You Love Her Now.” In a song where even the drums sprawl out and drag, the bass here is the only thing consistently on beat. There’s nothing really remarkable about its sound — it’s barely a discernible instrument at all, especially compared to the flourishes the guitars and vocals have. Yet it does the most for the song — sometimes, just being there is the important thing.

Vikram Joseph: My bedrooms in both of the last two apartments I’ve lived in have faced onto busy roads (even by London standards); with windows open, my nights are punctuated by traffic, sirens, trains, background chatter, arguments, whoops of drunken abandon, not-so-distant music and just about any other sonic urban miscellany you could imagine. Somehow, on summer evenings with a faint breeze carrying the scent of humidity and smoke into my room, there’s something almost zen-like about it, a sense of communality with the city that feels both vital and soothing. “Do You Love Her Now” is a mirror of this feeling; there’s so much to take in here, so many competing stimuli, and yet it sounds so spacious, so loose, so softly yearning. Like a burgeoning romance, I know there’s a lot to unpack here — and that will come — but for now I just want to let it wash over me; this song can follow me around all summer and soundtrack my dreams, like the low hum of traffic and the spasmodic roar of nocturnal freight trains on the overground line.

Julian Axelrod: “Alright.” He sounds weary, like he’s only been back for 40 seconds and he already regrets it. And then the harmonies kick in, rich and warm and pure like a summer rain. “Do You Love Her Now” is a mess of contradictions, a lovestruck labyrinth where every hook has the lifespan of a housefly. None of this makes sense on paper: It starts with a Zeppelin churn, then explodes into a futuristic fuck jam. It’s a multi-perspective saga where 90% of the credits is one guy’s name. It sounds like a clinical, commitment-phobic Barry White. But everything congeals into a perfect alloy, thumping and flickering like an android’s beating heart. The more you give yourself up to it, the more it has to offer. There are no easy answers in Jai Paul’s return single, or in Jai Paul’s return. By the time we figure it out, he’ll already have left us behind.

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2 Responses to “Jai Paul – Do You Love Her Now”

  1. And I like the new Madonna album!

  2. was planning to write about this now, but I’m glad I was late. I should really be banished from all Jai Paul(-adjacent) criticism for an inherent bias. anyway, “Do You Love Her Now” is excellent but it’s more of a reintroduction before the actual pièce de résistance here, which is obviously “He”. both 10s, don’t @ me

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