Indefinable genres are what makes the music world grow and change, challenging the stereotypical boundaries that are set by more than just the mass media and people who review music, but by musicians themselves who sometimes just try and emulate their favorite sounds and avoid pushing the very boundaries that enclose them and their music. Jamaican Queens combine so many different elements of popular and unusual noises alike to create a project really unlike any other, that they blow the notion of what a “genre” is out of the water. With sounds being so distorted by anything from effects on a keyboard to electronic resonances being manipulated with trap beats and acoustic guitar notes coming crashing in at the most unique times, there is such a wide variety of musical happenings going on that it sometimes feels like nine different artists have created nine different songs and made a compilation album. Songs range from sounding like TV On The Radio on “Can’t Say No To Annie” to some sort of EDM/ emo combo on “Asleep At The Wheel.” They have songs that could be played to hype up a party to songs that could be and should be listened to only when one is going through the toughest of break ups.
Lyrically, the album ranges from break up remorse to anger about accusations made in spite all sang by the most nasally, sharp as cheese voice that can go higher than Justin Timberlake at times but normally stays at a much more human level. The emotion interfused throughout is never more powerful than on the closing track, “Catlin,” as Andrew Remdenok cries, “I’m sorry about the world around you caving in.” Throughout the album there is such happy sounding music but an underlying theme of depressing destruction of love that at first my understanding of the album was very lacking. After talking about the album with two of my closest friends who had just broken up with each other and having both of their takes on the album and what it meant to them, I finally felt I could appreciate what Jamaican Queens are really going for in their music.