JMSN Strips Down His Sound In "Whatever Makes U Happy"

In the world of R&B, JMSN has been making a name for himself in past years. He first caught the ears of fans in 2012 when his debut album, the electronically infused soul record †Priscilla† was released. It was just about a year ago when JMSN released his last record - 2016's It Is. He's back again with another record following his slope of refining his sound. JMSN strips down his sound in Whatever Makes U Happy further again.

Whatever Makes U Happy gets off to a pretty funky start. 'Drinkin'' is a very jazzy start, establishing the motif of the record right from the beginning. The song sees JMSN's R&B timbre meet a more grassroots sound as he fits his voice to the jazzy atmosphere. The funkiness continues in 'Always Somethin',' the track that follows. Things then take an even more bluesy route with 'Love Ain't Enough' and following track 'Slide,' the latter of which is much smoother and stripped down.

The thing with JMSN's latest outputs is that to someone who doesn't actively listen to R&B music every day, the songs come off as a bit boring. The jazz meeting R&B is cool, but it's not as if it hasn't been done before. It is admirable that JMSN is taking his sound back to the roots of what R&B was, but it almost sounds like a gimmick on this record. On top of that, JMSN's voice just downright doesn't feel like it has a place with this sound. The record can't brush off his smooth vocals, and even though contrast can be good, it just doesn't work in an impressive way here.

JMSN has a solid footing in the R&B world now, and he's free to experiment as much as he wishes. He strips down his sound in Whatever Makes U Happy and takes things back to the very roots of the genre. It's not the perfect fit, but it's not a terrible record - just an average, if uneventful one. His sound has becoming more and more raw as time goes on - where will it go next?

Favorite Track: Drinkin'

Least Favorite Track: Angel

Rating: 67 / 100

Buy or listen to Whatever Makes U Happy on Apple Music or Amazon: