Jaz Elise Makes Strong Debut with Soulful and Dreamy R&B EP ‘The Golden Hour’ (ALBUM REVIEW)

Jaz Elise is an upcoming singer from Jamaica. Her contemporary style has led her to become part of the In.Digg.Nation Collective (founded by Protoje) alongside other artists like Lila Iké and Sevana.

With a Jamaican artist and Protoje behind the project, you might expect a reggae album, and though her debut EP The Golden Hour, has some reggae tones, it’s not really a reggae album. That being said, it does offer a lot for fans who enjoy island sounds and beautiful vocals. 

“I’m a Vibe” is rooted in reggae, but it also has a strong R&B vibe, especially with her smooth and easy vocals. The rhythm of the song is closer to Afrobeat than to the usual island beat you expect from reggae.

“Good Over Evil” has a more traditional reggae sound. You can hear it in the melody and the rhythm. It also comes through in the lyrics like “but who Jah bless no man curse”. The vocals are both soulful and dreamy with occasional reverb.

The whole EP leans more toward R&B than reggae. Like a lot of R&B records, the focus is on the vocals, and rightly so. Her tone is so beautiful that she could sing from an economics textbook and still have you entranced. On top of that, she never overdoes the vocals. There is none of the vocal gymnastics that you hear from pretty much every contestant on American Idol. Her voice is smooth and mellow and her delivery is even. It’s refreshing to hear a singer just sing without trying to emulate the vocal tricks that have been on the radio for so long.

The problem (if you can call it that) with this EP is that the six songs are over before you know it. On the flipside, you can listen to this three times (and you just might) in the time it takes to listen to one full album. 

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