In a 2019 interview with Apple Music host Nadeska Alexis, Jessie Reyez explained the source of inspiration for her profoundly personal, often political, intensely swaggering R&B: “I like to sing about shit I don’t like to talk about,” she said. The Colombian Canadian singer’s intimate 2018 EP Being Human in Public felt at times like a diary, wrestling with deep themes like immigration (“Imported") and gender discrimination (“Body Count”) in a conversational Spanish-English blend while tossing out cutting one-liners with a smirk (“I dodge dick on the daily”).
Here, on her first full-length, the Toronto native and Up Next alum reaches deep into her emotional core to tell you exactly who she is and how she feels—exhilaratingly heartbroken, independent, and alive—with a matter-of-factness that has become her signature. The songs here are wide-ranging and ambitious—there are slow-burning pop ballads (“LOVE IN THE DARK”) and smoldering R&B-trap send-ups (“ANKLES” featuring Rico Nasty and Melii)—showcasing her staggering vocal range and unflinching lyricism. It’s the latter, really, that makes her coy verses so indelible: “I should have fucked your friends/It would have been the best revenge,” she sings on album opener “DO YOU LOVE HER.” “If I blow your brains out/I can guarantee that you’ll forget her.” Who could forget that?