When Jacob Collier sets himself an ambitious project and a target, you know he’s going to succeed – in style. The second volume of Djesse brings the culmination of 50% of the new work of more than 40 songs recorded over a productive year.
Collier is immensely talented - with two Grammy awards already – but this project demonstrates his generosity in music. Collaboration allows for an eclectic mix of sounds. Haters will always hate, and Collier is sometimes criticised for his cross-genre output,. With Djesse – Volume 2 he only demonstrates his skills across a range of instruments, vocals, composition and production. It’s a delightful album that simply makes the impending arrival of Volume 3 highly anticipated.
This collection is very different to Volume 1. Collier said: “Whereas Volume 1 embraced the space and breadth of orchestras and choirs, Volume 2 focuses on smaller acoustic spaces – the worlds of songwriting, British folk music, African melodies and rhythms, rock, R&B, neo-soul, folk ballads...and many worlds between. With more than ten collaborators featured from all around the world – all the way from Portugal to Mali, who have each pioneered these worlds in their own right and are true heroes of mine, the album joins more of my musical dots and unifies a multitude of musical universes, concluding the first half of this year's musical journey.”
Indeed, there are some big names in music around the world who have been happy to collaborate on this album: Lianne La Havas, dodie, Oumou Sangaré, MARO, Sam Amidon, Kathryn Tickell, and Becca Stevens among others. Each contributes their own style and this is the perfect album to play through noise cancelling headphones when turning off the annoyances of today’s real world.
Collier’s Moon River is truly stunning, with vocals that become almost orchestral in what can be too easily easy listening. There is a depth to the arrangement that builds subtly and gradually. But every track on Djesse – Volume 2 has something to offer and this is an album that brings more with each hearing. Give it time and enjoy it until the next Collier collection appears.