JMSN came onto the scene last year and released one of my favorite albums of the year (#10 on my top albums list) with his 16 song album †Priscilla†. He often was put under the same category as The Weeknd for his dark, eerie vibe in his music, but I never felt like he fit that comparison or zone of music. If anything, to me, he feels like a darker version of Justin Timberlake, but I hate comparing things. Let people be who they are.
After the release of †Priscilla†, we got next to nothing from the Detroit native beyond videos until in around January we got news that Ab-Soul & JMSN were planning on releasing a joint-project titled Unit 6 in February. We did end up getting a single the next week, but we never got anything after that & JMSN went pretty silent until the announcement that he was releasing this project, †Pllajë†.
†Pllajë†, which stands for plateau in Albanian, is a conceptual EP that narrates “an arch of emotions after the storm.” The album’s title is a metaphor for the “sometimes frustrating space after conflict and heartache, exploring the new found series of challenges that come along with it.” The ten song EP was entirely written, produced, and mixed by JMSN, similar to his debut †Priscilla† and will also be released via his White Room Records.
The EP opens up with the title-track introduction that features a speech talking about mostly holding back forcing you to reach a plateau. The beat then drops with a girl talking in a different language, similar to what he did on †Priscilla† often. JMSN comes with his first vocals on the second track ‘Adá’, which almost sounds like a song you could of placed at any point of his debut & it would of fit perfectly. With that tone set for the EP, the third song ‘Wasted Love’ smacks you in the face with an incredible sound-scape that might be the best showcase of JMSN’s production ability in his career. The first ‘interlude’ of the EP is the reverb heavy ‘Everything Fades’ which features nothing more than JMSN repeating “everything; everything fades away.” With everything fading away, we walk right into spacey ‘Walk Away’. ‘Walk Away’ has JMSN questioning himself repeatedly into a huge beat build-up halfway through the song. Like the description of the EP said, this has JMSN in a confusing spot with him singing in second-person.
With the EP already half-way over, we head into the second ‘interlude’ titled ‘Dónde Estoy’ (Where Am I? in English). The interlude is spoken entirely in Spanish, and leads us into yet another interlude that goes back to English, titled ‘Love Myself’. I really, REALLY wished ‘Love Myself’ was a full track, because this is the most infectious track on the album in my eyes. Powerful lines in here, with JMSN singing “I don’t want you to hate me / but you know I can’t stick around here / cause I don’t love myself, so how can I expect somebody else to do, the things I, I can’t do myself?”.
The EP hits in full swing, unfortunetly for us, at the end. The last three tracks, ‘Things U Missed’ and the two released singles ‘The One’ & ‘Fool’, come in clocking in over eighteen minutes, which is about two minutes shorter than the first seven songs on the EP. ‘Things U Missed’ is easily my favorite non-interlude/single on the project, with the progressively downgrading beat, which may be a contradiction but once you hear the song, you will understand the description. Once the beat completely dies, a new piano driven end comes in with a female voice coming in.
The two singles ‘The One’ & ‘Fool’ are the perfect way to finish off the long-awaited second project from JMSN. Musically, I really cannot argue with what JMSN dropped on us here. It’s a well thought out, conceptual project that stuck to what was promised. I just wish that this was an actual album over an EP, as the album really only featured two new full length songs from JMSN, but then again maybe it’s my fault for being a super-fan and listening to the three singles.
I really hate giving ratings on projects. There are so many factors and with me only having the EP for about three weeks, I do not think I have digested the EP enough to fully give it a 100% analysis. Based on the multiple listens I have given the project, a 4/5 would definitely be great assesment of the project. No tracks get skipped, this is a solid 37 minute, 44 second play through. Like stated, I just wish it was longer, but that has nothing to do with the greatness that JMSN blessed us with. Be sure to cop the album on iTunes when it drops on November 5th, or purchase a CD/Vinyl over at JMSN’s store.