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Jeremih – Late Nights : the album

  • Release date: 4 December 2015
  • Label: Def jam records

Imagine a Groundhog Day sequel where each day is another doomed re-run of your significant other’s birthday. “It’s the best day of the year, girl,” you mumble for the thousandth time, fumbling for a Cialis. No one gets older, and nothing changes. That’s been the unfortunate majority of Jeremih’s career—somewhat bafflingly, considering the singer and multi-instrumentalist has racked up three platinum singles and features on hits from half the rap game. Since Birthday Sex his 2009 debut single, recorded in college classmate Mick Schultz’ makeshift studio—took hold of Chicago radio and then the world, he’s tried in vain to politely distance himself from the song. And meanwhile, he obsessively adjusted and readjusted Late Nights, his third studio album: the one that officially renders his early career a distant memory and establishes himself as one of R&B’s most singular voices.

The most remarkable parts of Late Nights, however, take the mixtape’s strongest concepts and simplify them even more than initially appeared feasible. “Woosah” rationing percussion like there was a drought, maintaining itself off muted finger snaps and the flick of a lighter; “Pass Dat” is barely more than suggestive synth echo and bass tremor. Jeremih, who taught himself how to play the drums when he was three years old, is more adept than ever at using his voice as a rhythmic element, which redefines what “flow” means for an R&B set. It’s the natural opposite of the direction that rap has been heading for the majority of the 2010s, blending the lines between rap and singing delivery. For example, on “Drank,” he deftly switches from rap-inspired staccato to half-chanted dancehall melodies, which is the R&B version of Young Thug’s “Stoner.” “Late Nights”

It feels like poetic justice that the high point of Late Nights—an album about patience, space, the agonizing tease of perfectionism—is saved for its final track. Over nothing more than an acoustic guitar, Jeremih yawns blearily at his beachside paradise, kind of faded, the only one still awake. He pops some Tylenol, revisits the preceding night’s debauchery, smiles. “Sooooo fuckin’ wasted,” he harmonizes like a delinquent angel choir. It’s a derelict canticle, a lullaby for the perpetually hungover, a deep breath. It took him long enough to get here, and he’s going to savor the moment for as long as he possibly can, in the little universe he’s carved out because the industry didn’t have space for him. Late Nights, in its subtle seduction, feels all the more special in an era that increasingly rewards artists who shout the loudest. Jeremih makes you shut everything else out so that you can hear him whisper in your ear. It was worth the wait.

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Jeremih’s Late Nights Tracklist

01 Planes f. J. Cole
02 Don’t Tell ‘Em f. YG
03 Got Damn f. Trey Songz & Fabolous
04 Dumptrucks
05 There You Go
06 Gimmie Kiss
07 Can’t Go No Mo’ f. Juicy J
08 She No Good f. French Montana & Johnny Cinco
09 Horny
10 You & I
11 Tonight Belongs To You f. Flo Rida
12 Paradise