October 29, 2017

ALBUM STREAM & REVIEW: MAJID JORDAN “THE SPACE BETWEEN”

The OVO Toronto duo Majid Jordan release their 13-track sophomore album “The Space Between” following up from a year old debut. Their sound has been described as alternative R&B; Jordan’s smooth tones, upbeat grooves/drum rhythms and Majid’s buttery falsettos provide a fresh take with these dance elements. Features include fellow OVO boys PARTYNEXTDOOR and dvsn. Keepin’ it in-house, making Drake proud. The album and single artwork is by local designer Dead Dilly, also known for his work with Nike, Jazz Cartier, Red Bull etc.

Stream the album here and follow along as we take you through the album.

Intro

The one minute intro sounds like a J Dilla beat playing inside a futuristic vehicle cruising through cyberspace. Quite an experimental and unique production with no vocals from Majid to tease the album’s progression

Gave Your Love Away

Track two has a nostalgic 90’s type production almost with traditional drum patterns and smooth R&B chords. This song kicked off the Louis Vuitton Men’s Spring-Summer 2018 Fashion show and was followed by Drake’s new song “Signs.” OVO co-founder Oliver El-Khatib was responsible for curating the playlist for the show. It seems Majid’s former girl has cut him out and has no desire to stay in touch with him. Although the reason for this is unclear, Majid seems to have some regrets about how things played out and is left with no one to blame but himself.

OG Hearthrob

The 3rd song sings about a past love who he clearly still has feelings for, and how they’re perfect together. Poor dude, such a hopeless romantic, Majid.

“Original heartthrobGiving me heart problems‘Cause I can’t take making love to anyone but youOriginal heartthrob”

Body Talk

In Body Talk, Majid Al Maskati sings about a girl he likes. He wants to express his feelings to her however he is doubtful that she shares the same feelings as him and hence he wants her to prove to him that it is he that she wants. Jordan Ullman teamed up with Stargate for this one. StarGate is a Norwegian songwriting and production duo, consisting of Tor Erik Hermansen and Mikkel Storleer Eriksen.

“Show me what it is you needShow me what my eyes don’t seeBaby, I could let you breatheBaby, I could let you live”

Not Ashamed

On the fifth track of the album, over a Daft Punk-ish voice-effect vibe, Majid discusses his doubts and perplexities over a toxic relationship in which the girl fails in showing care and affection by being absent, too pretentious, and with overly swinging moods and unclear intentions.

One I Want (Ft. PARTYNEXTDOOR)

PND’s ooo’s on this hook are quite contagious making it a memorable one. Now let’s talk about the other hook lyrics

“Fifty bands later you the one I wantHundred bands later you the one I want(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh)(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh)Hundred and fifty bands later you the one I wantTwo hundred bands baby you the one I want(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh)(Ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh ooh)”

Basically one band is $1,000. Since these boys have gained fame and money, they receive more attention from women who want to share the lavish lifestyle. Despite this increase in wealth, they still have feeling for a first love it sounds like, the money didn’t change them (apparently). Alternatively, PND or Majid’s woman could be the one who stepped into money being treated differently while he’s assuring her that despite the riches, he’s still in love with the version of her he first met. Party sang similar sentiments on “Rendezvous”

Also, this is the first track I ever heard Majid snap. His melodies are insane on this one. Finally unleashing that fire!

You

“You” First premiered as an intro-song for their shows during their North America Tour 2016. Not to be mistaken for U, which was in their 2014 released EP A Place Like This. The song consists of a single verse, a pre-chorus and a chorus that is being repeated all over again. It’s quite slow and minimal, slow to progress but nonetheless smooth. Majid’s got one on his mind again.

“Nothin’ left to do, I wish I could ride to you babeInstead, I’m ridin’ round thinkin’ bout youOooh woah, ridin’, ridin'”

Phases

“Phases” dropped as the first single prior to the album’s release. The lyrics of the song are about Majid’s time as an 18 year old teenager. He moved from Bahrain (where he grew up and was originally from), to Toronto where he started studying business at U of T (where he met Ullman).

He basically explains in the song, what he had to go through and what he experienced at that time. (Different culture, new places, new people, how his life was changing, etc.)

It is also worth noting that Majid Jordan in the past have written songs with general lyrics, that anyone could relate to. This is a shift from that (perhaps a phase), in which Majid clearly speaks of his own experience. Nice to have that custom POV.

Asleep

This is my favourite track on the album. Mostly because of the long falsetto note control on the hook and all of the melodies. It’s quite simple production as usual, smooth lightweight synth tones and moderate tempo so its not too trappy and not too dancy. The hook is simply

“I think ’til I fall asleep”

Another execution of making something simple sound good.

What You Do To Me

Majid gets steamy on this one. You can imagine what he’s referring to with this:

“I wanna love you sidewaysBack to the car and 100 miles on the highwayThat’s only if we make it out of the drivewayAll that you give me, all that you make me”

This track has the same sound from “One I Want” I believe, it may be a setting on the Juno.

My Imagination (ft. dvsn)

The hook is

“You remind me of a pretty girl, babyYou remind me of a pretty girl, you doYou remind me of a pretty girl, baby, who broke, who broke my heart, babyThat tore my life apart”

I want to say that it seems suitable that Daniel Daley (singer of dvsn) is on this track because he reminds me of Usher at times, (who sang “U Remind Me”), and look at the hook’s lyrics.

Anyways, The girl that Majid’s now seeing/dating reminds him of one who hurt him. Maybe this is one of the reasons he continues to see/date her. That’s a scary cycle to be in. Stay strong out there bruv.

Both of the falsetto boys really do justice to their versions of the hook.

The Space Between

This is likely my second favourite song. The message is just too real, check this out:

“[Verse 1: Majid Al Maskati]Everybody’s on the wallWaiting on some alcoholNobody here wants to talkNo one’s on the dance floorI don’t plan on leaving soonHow ’bout we switch up the mood?I really like your attitudeSo why don’t we take the leap?

Right?! This reminds me of Toronto (and maybe just 2017) culture. Everyone’s absored in their phones, too scared to talk to anyone. To scared to “Take the leap” as Majid explains.

[Chorus: Majid Al Maskati]Live in the moment with meLive in the space betweenLive in the moment with meLive in the space between (space between)”

The Space Between seems to be referring to the present (between past and future) and I couldn’t agree more. It sounds like the dude’s been getting spiritual. Maybe some meditation. Either way he knows the past and future don’t exist and people need to embrace life’s moments and cherish what they have now.

Outro

The last song on the album consists of a slow 80s type beat and resampled vocals from the tracks Gave Your Love Away and Phases.

The Soundscape of this track is comparable to Daft Punk’s Nightvision, from whom Majid Jordan got influenced a lot, according to several interviews.

Nice way to re-visit memorable lyric sand melodies from the album in a nostalgic atmosphere.

//

In conclusion, it’s a great album and shows tremendous growth from their last project, which you can also stream below to compare.

I’m glad they kept the features to only affiliates. The duo is still relatively on the rise, although the recognition is about to skyrocket/has been for a while. Hopefully they choose wisely their next moves as to their sound direction and who they work with.

#majidjordanthespacebetween #indiepop

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