Osmojam — Échappée Album Review by Jay Fingers @JFXXXVI @Osmojam

Osmojam — Echappée Album Review by Jay Fingers

Title: Echappée
Artist: Osmojam
Hood: Paris, France
Label: Tum’Soul
Genre(s): Neo-Soul / Jazz
Released: November 18, 2013
Social: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud

French singer-songwriter Osmojam’s newest release is entitled Échappée — in English, that translates to “Escape,” and it’s an apt title given how the disc offers listeners an escape from the homogenous sound of today’s contemporary soul music.

Échappée is jazz-tinged neo-soul with more than a dash of hip-hop for flavoring. This is evident from the outset: Vinyl record crackling and a ’90s hip-hop drum loop gives “Avec Une Idée” a decidedly throwback feel. The flavorful “Métro,” featuring rapper TIS, has a similar vibe thanks to its trumpet line and vocal samples. When Échappée veers away from its hip-hop influences, the album’s cleanly produced tracks retain their jazzy vibe. “Déception” is a harmonious duet with crooner Aldrick, and if not for its tale of sadness and disappointment, it would almost be romantic.

The live instrumentation of the title track provides the perfect backdrop for Osmojam’s warm, beautiful, graceful vocals. And when the inevitable bid for American audiences takes place, there’s no reason to think Osmojam won’t succeed. Her English-language cover of Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” is more Blue Note than Barclays Center, yet it manages to be just as energetic as the original dance-pop version. She further impresses on the inspirational, rock-tinged jam session “Let Them Stay.” Thematically, Échappée is a very intelligent and philosophical record, touching on themes such as racism, politics, depression, and the boundless beauty of art and music. Initially, it’s startling that there seems to be a lack of pure “romantic love” songs on Échappée, but then you once again realize that this album is offering “escape” from the conventions to which we’ve become accustomed. It’s this sort of innovation that further sets Osmojam apart from her contemporaries.

Overall, Osmojam’s latest is an exquisite album, full of sublime performances, impressive production, unique themes, and just the right touch of nostalgia. Échappée is definitely a winner, and there’s no escaping that fact.

Grade: B+

Best Tracks “Avec Une Idée” , “Métro” (featuring TIS) “Déception” (featuring Aldrick) “Let Them Stay” “Bad Romance (Jazz Cover)” LISTEN TO FULL ALBUM FREE

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