Album Review: No More by Jeremih & Shlohmo

Posted on Posted in Album Review, New MusicTagged , , , , ,
Album artwork for Jeremih & Shlohmo’s EP No More

After Yours Truly and Adidas Originals announced their pairing of R&B prince Jeremih and WeDidIt cofounder Shlohmo for their Songs From Scratch series, one could say the Internet was a little more than overeager. Shlohmo’s renowned remix abilities have given listeners an impossibly relaxing yet tasteful take on Jeremih and Natasha Money’s smooth croons in “All The Time” that turned into lazy mornings and late night plays of the remade “Fuck You All The Time.”

Despite legal and label issues along the way, Shlohmo and Jeremih kept building the hype for their No More EP by releasing the eponymous single “No More” on Valentine’s Day. Today, July 17, has a double purpose as Jeremih’s 27th birthday and the album release date. Nab the six track EP for free here.

Half of the EP has been released in the past year, with “No More,” “Fuck You All The Time,” and “Bo Peep (Do U Right)” embodying the familiar haunting, synthetic qualities that fill out Jeremih’s minimalistic instrumentals. An extended cut on “Fuck You All The Time” sees Jeremih drop a short verse at 2:19 about his muse and his favorite things to do. The extended version has a more aggressive end that blends Natasha Money’s pulsating voice into a cacophony, which includes the original vocals and a several octave transposition of what can only be described as monster-like laughter.

“Dope” is the album’s first new song that discusses the parallel relationships he has with recreational substances and his girl. Throughout the song, Jeremih makes explicit statements to needs and desires, while alluding to various drugs and mixed drinks, yet at times it also sounds like he is talking about a girl. “Baby take me high, oh let’s kill the monotony. When we play in bed together- that’s perfect harmony,” where the final phrase references WeDidIt’s yin yang logo and hints at how sex might as well be another drug in his book. As the song goes on, it gets increasingly dream-like with the vocals and beats weaving in and out of each other until fading out into sleep.

The last two songs, “Let It Go” and “The End” feat. Chance the Rapper, are also new songs that complement each other in topic and style. “Let It Go” reveals a sadder side to Jeremih’s usually upbeat and cocky style (re: “Imma Star”). Shlohmo’s pervasive use of muffled groans and “No’s” provides a moody backdrop to Jeremih’s nostalgic lyrics. “The End” heralds a return to usual topics: girls, the club, and girls in the club. It also highlights the rappers’ voices more than it does for Shlohmo’s musical genius although a bassy buildup at 2:32 teases the listener for a fleeting moment before Chance jumps in.

Overall, the album was not disappointing but the three previously released songs trumped the three new ones by far, which may lead some people to say No More had a lackluster delivery. I disagree! Songs From Scratch is responsible for bringing studio collaborations the likes of Jacques Greene x Tinashe and Joey Bada$$ x Araabmuzik to speakers near you. Shlohmo x Jeremih was highly-anticipated and allowed for the two Americans to solidify a creative relationship. While Jeremih was able to explore, in terms of lyrics, Shlohmo produced tracks that fit perfectly for the collaboration… but still left something to be desired as long-term supporters know Shlohmo has so much more to offer. I hope this collaborative relationship continues in the future and allows for more musical development- call me biased but I’m a big fan of both artists and thoroughly enjoyed their first studio EP.

No More is summed up in one verse from “Dope”: “At times you’re never here, sometimes I need a dose. These empty nights are lonely. That’s when I need you the most. Tell me you’ll never leave, this right here yeah I wanna stay, when you revolve around me, everything’s night and day.”

 

–Helen Jiang

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *