French singer-songwriter Osmojams newest release is entitled Échappée in English, that translates to Escape, and its an apt title given how the disc offers listeners an escape from the homogenous sound of todays 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 albums 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 Osmojams warm, beautiful, graceful vocals. And when the inevitable bid for American audiences takes place, theres no reason to think Osmojam wont succeed. Her English-language cover of Lady Gagas 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, its 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 weve become accustomed. Its this sort of innovation that further sets Osmojam apart from her contemporaries.
Overall, Osmojams 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 theres no escaping that fact.
Best Tracks Avec Une Idée , Métro (featuring TIS) Déception (featuring Aldrick) Let Them Stay Bad Romance (Jazz Cover) LISTEN TO FULL ALBUM FREE