It almost seemed as if a follow up to J*DaVey’s 2008 debut, Beauty in Distortion/Land of The Lost, was never going to materialize.
Since the release of the project, the Los Angeles based duo made up of vocalist Miss Jack Davey, and producer Brook D’Leau signed a deal with Warner Brothers in hopes of releasing their sophomore album, New Designer Drug. Instead, they played the waiting game with the label, and in the process released four EPS all released digitally. The duo eventually got tired of label politics and opted to release the project independently, which leads us here.
With any J*DaVeY project, listeners can expect genre bending production with concepts and lyrics often times featuring sexual innuendos. This project, however, is a more mature and progressive sound from J*DaVeY with some familiar elements. The writing on this project seems to be inspired by outside things—escaping reality and the stalker tool of social media and etc.
The smart thing the duo does with the way the 11-track album flows is putting all the high points together as a series, first shown with the first four tracks on the album: “Listen,” “Queen of Wonderland,” “Whatcha Lookin @,” and “Kill For Fun.” The first song in the series, “Listen,” commands attention. This song grabs the listener with an acappella entrance from Miss Jack Davey. As the song progresses with more of a mellow and mature sound from the duo, it puts listeners in the mindset of previous songs: “Rain Check,” and “You Are.”
“Queen of Wonderland,” speaks to essentially being the Queen of a particular person’s desire. This song features bassist/vocalist Thundercat which only adds to the impressiveness of the production. “Whatcha Lookin @,” has great lyrics that are relevant to the times that we are living in right now. The lyrics explore detaching ones self from Social Media and etc, because realistically, it will consume your life if you allow it to. The last song in this series “Kill 4 Fun,” is perhaps one of the coolest songs on the album production wise. The production palette on this song is honestly the musical baby of Janet Jackson’s “Control” era mixed with Kelis’ Neptunes era (her best era).
The next series of high notes begins with “Little Tramp$,” almost sounds like a contemporary fun house—if it had a soundtrack. With this song we see D’Leau in the spotlight, however, we should pay special attention to Miss Jack Davey’s rap which begins at the 4:50 mark. The reused vintage track, “MaMa’s Back,” is another highlight not to mention the last two tracks on the album, “This One,” and “Anything Goes.”
Honestly, the delay with this album seems to have created a more balanced and cohesive project. If it were released earlier, people would not have really understood the duo’s sound. However, with the EPs and live shows occurring in between, it made the album more understandable.
- Erin Duncan