Never Ready is one of those effortlessly cool songs which crosses a lot of generic boundaries. It has a solid R&B groove, one heightened by some quick and clever digital drum manipulation, it is sassy, sensual and soulful and it is infectious enough to cross from those more urban realms into straightforward pop pastures. It is safe to say that a song that can do all of that is going to have mass appeal. Not just with the more discerning fans of the underground urban scenes and chilled dance environments but those more mainstream pop-pickers and chart aficionados too.
It’s a song that runs on a ticking, almost trap-inspired groove but everything above that exists in a more mellow, deft and defined place. Basses pulse, beats skitter, stutter and skip, and in the spacious void above Jocelyn‘s sweet and soulful voice goes to work. And it is this space that perfectly frames her voice allowing it room to roam, to wander between soft lush lulls and gently but effective soaring salvos.
It’s the sound of modern R&B, the sound of all manner of genres clashing and colliding into the sonics of the here-and-now, a sound which
respectfully tips its hat to the soul divas and blues idols of the past but which uses those traditions, and a host of more recent ones too, to create music perfect for this very moment. In short, it is music well aware of where it comes from but which is far more interested in where it is going.
This is, I believe, the debut release from Jocelyn Aker, and on the strength of this elegant and eloquent opening act, I would say that she is one to watch for the future. Who knows what will follow but you can guarantee that it will be worth waiting for.
(reviewed by Dave Franklin)
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