Album of the Week: Majid Jordan

On February 8th 2016 » By Andrew Winistorfer

majid-jordan-cover

Imagine putting out an album last Friday. You think, “Yes! We have a whole week before Kanye comes along and makes all other music, at least in the eyes of Twitter, irrelevant. At least we have that week!” And then Beyoncé comes out with “Formation” and slays the Super Bowl halftime show to the point where I am struggling to remember if Coldplay were even there at all, and now no album that came out on Friday got any play in the club by Saturday night. Pity the February 5 releases.

So, let’s give some shine to a deserving album that is about to get entirely buried: Majid Jordan’s self-titled debut, out last Friday via Drake’s OVO Sound and Warner Brothers. Majid Al Maskati and Jordan Ullman started working together in Toronto, making mood-heavy, New Wave-inflected R&B before Drake scouted them. The duo ended up co-producing “Hold On We’re Going Home” and were featured as backing vocalists on the song too. The song was unlike everything on Nothing Was the Same, mostly because it turns out it was the blueprint for a Majid Jordan song; it’s got all the elements that make the group, and their debut LP, a rewarding listen. The atmospherics, the club dancefloor-ready choruses, the falsetto; all those things are heavily present on Majid Jordan.

“Learn From Each Other,” the opening track, starts like a New Order song—seriously it sounds like a negative of “Age of Consent”—before it breaks out into a song that sounds like it was recorded while seated in a bottle service booth. Majid Jordan’s best songs sound just like that; this is a group that makes lowkey club music that sounds like it could be in a Samsung ad. Drake pops up for his most singing-ass singing guest verse in some time for “My Love,” a song that’s beat sounds like it was blasted over a submarine’s sonar pickups. The album peaks with “Shake Shake Shake,” the track with the fastest heartbeat here, and the one Majid Jordan track that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Strokes record.

Majid Jordan is the ideal soundtrack for swiping your way through Tinder at 1:30 a.m. as you sit at the bar alone after your friends left with hookups. It’s an album for drinking Patron and paying for it with your maxed out credit card, and for getting that sext to an ex off at 5 a.m. as you lay awake with a beer buzz. It’s for that last hour of a Molly high where you decide between dropping a second dose and going home and going to bed. Majid Jordan is going to get outshined by the releases this week, and it’s going to be forgotten in OVO’s promotion budgets as soon as Drake’s Views from the 6(which Majid Jordan are working on, and apparently living in tents while doing so), but it’s destined to soundtrack a lot of sadboy hookups this summer. And for that, it deserves to be your Album of the Week.

Listen to the album below:

Andrew Winistorfer

Andrew Winistorfer

Andrew Winistorfer is Vinyl Me, Please’s Classics and Country Director, and an editor of their books, 100 Albums You Need In Your Collection and The Best Record Stores In The United States. He’s written Listening Notes for more than 20 VMP releases, and co-produced Nat Turner Rebellion's Laugh to Keep From Crying. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

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