The Loop

The Loop

Jordan Rakei’s dreamily delicate voice is as poised as ever on his fifth album, even on tracks where more than 40 people might be contributing. Those sheer numbers are thanks to robust string and horn sections and a smaller choir, lending scope to The Loop’s self-produced majesty. Yet for all of the bravura flourishes here, Rakei sounds every bit as intimate as he did when he was cutting tracks in his humble bedroom. “Hopes and Dreams” especially hinges on his confiding vocals, unfolding against a sparse backdrop featuring no drums. It’s one of several songs inspired by Rakei settling into fatherhood, and even the album title comes from the idea that his son may someday have children of his own. Elsewhere, the Brisbane-raised, London-based multi-instrumentalist takes notes from classic soul of several eras, from Marvin Gaye to D’Angelo and beyond. The arrangements are impeccable throughout, whether it’s the warmly dusty breakbeats on opener “Flowers” or the rustling loops and handclaps on “Cages.” There’s a live-in-the-room quality to it all, even when a track like “Everything Everything” bolsters Rakei’s heavenly vocal flutter and a cool rhythmic snap with lively tides of celestial layering. As he meditates on the subtle complexities of parenthood and friendship alike, the instrumentation remains transfixing right alongside his words of wisdom.

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