Very talented singer and songwriter, Jessie Reyez, is unapologetically all her. Ferocious, powerful, poignant, beautifully emotional, and a heart-wrenchingly great honest storyteller. With some of the most powerful and soulfully passionate vocals you will ever hear. So it should be no surprise that Reyez’s recently released long-awaited debut album, BEFORE LOVE CAME TO KILL US, released through FMLY and Island Records, showcases all of that. As she touches on the many phases of the not so talked about dark side of love, death and mortality throughout much of the album. Helping her deliver one of the most honest, heart-wrenching, diverse and unfiltered debut albums you will ever hear.
Starting from the very powerful and theatrical profound intro track, DO YOU LOVE HER. In which she professes, “I should’ve fvcked your friends. It would’ve been the best revenge. For the fire that you started. I’m tryna heal, but it’s a process. They told me I should cut my losses. But there’s a stranger where my heart is.” That’s her being completely uncut, honest and extremely powerful from the very first lines you hear as you press play. Letting you know she isn’t messing around in how dismissive she’s to an ex and how that attitude carries through to the rest of this very heart-wrenchingly good Luzuli, Tim Suby and Fred Ball co-produced record. That truly sets the tone for the very powerful journey you are in for as you listen to the rest of the 13 tracks of the 14-track album. The intro perfectly seguing into the very anthemic, DEAF (who are you). Another Suby-produced record that truly shows how proud she’s of her Columbian-Canadian heritage and culture. As she very boldly declares, “I’ma buy my dad a mansion. Colombia in my blood, yeah. Loca, getting it done, yeah.”
How beautiful and emotionally powerful a lot of the records are to go with the just as soul-bearing and beautiful, as well as live instrumentation production throughout. Is what makes it such a soul-bearing, heart-wrenching and powerfully amazing album too. Whether it be the soft and absolutely beautiful JT Roach guitar and Shroom Beeze drums on the very beautiful Mario “R!O” Jefferson and Kamo co-produced, INTRUDERS. That really shows off Reyez’s very beautiful, yet powerful vocals and lyrics. The Eminem featured, COFFIN, featuring a very great Tobias “Priest” Frelin mostly fingerpicked guitar-based production, really helping show off her very beautifully, yet powerful amazing vocals. As she sings the deep, yet beautifully deadly lyrics of, “You make me wanna jump off the roof. Cause I love you to death, just like a fool.” With unwavering devotion and commitment to her lover until she’s six feet under. Em adding the perfect complimentary out of nowhere great deadly guest verse. That takes an already top-notch record and makes it even more top-notch, while also showing what seamlessly deadly chemistry both Jessie and Eminem have together. For what is arguably the best track on the album.
As the album moves into Alex Delicata, The Monarch, and BLVK JVCK co-produced, ANKLES and single, IMPORTED. Reyez shows that not everything on the album is all dark. As ANKLES is very emotionally and great, yet somewhat playful record in which she let’s an ex know, “These b*%#^es can’t measure up. To my ankles.” While IMPORTED features the only other collaboration on the album with fellow great singer and songwriter, 6LACK. A very amazing and emotionally honest duet between the two great artists, that’s still among the best she’s ever received and why Reyez probably decided to keep it for the album. Even despite releasing it last April as a remix to the original record that featured JRM and was on her very amazingly stellar Grammy Award-nominated EP, Being Human in Public. The very beautifully deep and powerful, The Priest and The Beast, Savannah Ré and YogiTheProducer co-produced, LA MEMORIA. Meanwhile finds her singing in Spanish and is easily one of the top two or three records on the whole album.
The album only continues to get even better as it moves into the second half too. With the very emotionally heartbreaking, SAME SIDE. A very moving tear jerking record about how much she fought to be with a lover that she should’ve just left. That’s easily the most beautifully heart-wrenching and moving record of the album and you can put up a good argument for the best record on the whole album period as well. The bridge towards the end so dang beautiful and making it that much better too. The raps and flow on the P2J and Bizness Boi co-produced, ROOF, really showing how versatile and amazing she’s too.
Going into the final four records, she then makes you question again what’s really the best record on the whole album. Starting with the very beautiful ballad, KILL US. In which so elegantly sings into an anguished piece of pop about the idea that love always ends in some kind of death. Before perfectly moving into the very beautifully emotional and triumphant, LOVE IN THE DARK. That sees Reyez really pour out all of her soul and passionately triumphant emotions with her just as triumphantly passionate and powerful vocals about all the emotions that love brings, even in the dark. For one of the most triumphantly soulful and passionately emotional amazing records you will ever hear. That then perfectly seguing into the very emotionally beautiful, I DO. A very beautifully sombering Mario “R!O” Jefferson, Andre “Dre” Harris and Kamo co-produced record. That is easily one of the most standout records on the album and sees Reyez singing the emotionally beautiful, yet sombering lyrics about a lost love. The album then perfectly closing out with the very powerfully heart-wrenching and emotionally painful, FIGURES. That’s still easily one of her best records to date. The four track sequence to close out the album, one of the best to ever close out not only a debut album, but most any album ever period. To the point that you can put up a very good argument of those four records being the top four or at the very least all in the top five best records on the entire album.
All of the emotions, pain, heartbreak, dark and fun sides of love and immortality shown throughout the album. Helping Reyez not only deliver easily the best album so far this year and a certified classic, that couldn’t have been anymore timely with all the craziness going on in the world and most people need as a distraction from all of that. But one of the most definitive debut albums of all-time that’s sure to help Reyez rocket into Pop superstardom and earn her quite a few more GRAMMYs nominations as well. You can also be sure to see the album in many top albums of 2020 year-end lists come December too.