San Diego producer Jay James dropped his second project When All is Said and Done on March 2nd. It offers an alleviating sound built around seamless progressions. This project was a collaborative effort featuring the likes of Phabo, Thomas Frye, Jesse Aaron, Jamal Maupin, Isaiah Davis, Lydon Quill and Adam Graham. Prior to the album release, the multifaceted musician dropped three singles:”Mourning Prayer, “Supersonic” and “Damaged”.
“Morning Prayer” opens with somber piano melodies and light synths echoing deep voids that must be filled. His project takes a lighter turn for “Supersonic”. Piano and guitar are interloped between brass for a celestial sound experience en route to “Heaven” — a warm reverberation that could probably be featured in a film score.
“Overnight” is a passionate ballad introducing us to Phabo, a crooner combating darker demons at the expense of newfound love. “Awake” acts as James’ cymbal ringing, drum thudding intermission. “Prayer II” bridges missing interlude gaps to “Damaged”. Here, the Ratchet and Blues singer returns to plead for common ground in misunderstanding. The St. Petersburg artist confidently reiterates that he’s not damaged rather someone worth the effort.
“Anxious” exposes looming tension built by obscure synth, flute and deep sax while “Overdue” layers acoustic with percussion to reach a progressive cinematic sound. “Agitated” thrives on silenced tension before “Broken” tugs at heartstrings with faint piano and guitar loops.
Surprisingly, “Euphoric” offers hydrating, organic noise of pianos and trumpets with Afro-inspired ambience. Nearing the end, “Bedside Prayer” thrives with similar energy shrouded under lively jazz, flutes and piano. quite The SDSU music major concludes with “Amen”: his confident answer to eerie beginnings.
Jay James reminds us that music does not always need to be vocally led. It can be explored through soundscapes to convey life’s emotional rollercoaster.
Top 4 favorites: “Damaged”, “Awake”, “Agitated” and “Euphoric”
What are yours?
Follow Jay James on all platforms at @byjayjames.