Majid Jordan’s The Space Between is an invitation to get caught up in your feelings. It sounds like something you’d turn up, wistful, doing 45 in your Range through the city at 1am.
Gave Your Love Away drips with regret. It admits a fuck-up, but not as epiphany. It’s the difference between realization and being read.
In OG Heartthrob, the aftermath of giving love away is wishing someone would give it back. Its self-centered perspective is crystalline, though I hope never true for me. “Open up and let me in” reminds me of classic 90s R&B I can’t place. And the fadeout makes me wonder if this track’s a nod to DeBarge’s All This Love.
Body Talk is a dancehall-ish plea for a chance.
Not Ashamed layers Weeknd-ish neurosis—the stylized fear that they’re coming for your cool—over a Michael Jackson sound. It may even approach Bill Withers‘s Use Me, because it’s explicit about how vulnerability (“Ashamed of the way you treat me”) can betray you (“Same mistake; I’m about to repeat it”).
While One I Want features the idea of love after you come up, the real theme is the come-up itself. Its gem is the lead-up to “Don’t show your colors unless its vibrant,” which is a lot like Weezy’s “Real G’s move in silence like ‘lasagna.’”
You’s full of remorse. It‘s awareness of having lost something special. It does a much better job of contrasting status with that loss (“Pocket full of cash, but I can’t buy the passed time”) than OG Heartthrob.
Phases illustrates the price of being stationary while others move. Asleep follows, and its “Even on a good day, I can’t help but feel this way” is real for me.
What You Do to Me is the album’s most mature track. It depicts need that isn’t needy by using lyrical proximity and complementary expressions of embrace. And the lucidity of “I wanna feel you rollin’ like water on my skin”? Ooh, boy.
My Imagination is inescapably reminiscent of Usher’s U Remind Me. And “Maybe it’s just what I’ve been drinking” definitely feels like an OVO adaption of The Temptations’ imagination running away with them.
The title track is about taking risks while everyone else waits for an impetus (“Everybody’s on the wall, waiting on some alcohol”). It sets up a solid ending in Outro: two refrains over a sound similar to The Weeknd’s I Feel It Coming.
October 27, 2017
Jordan Ullman · Nineteen85 · StarGate
dvsn · Ilsey Juber · James Fauntleroy · Jordan Ullman · Majid Al Maskati · Majid Jordan · PARTYNEXTDOOR · StarGate