On Friday, July 27th Toronto’s Jazz Cartier released his debut album Fleurever. The 16-track album is a cohesive, cynical, and captivating piece that explores recurring themes of self-growth and the effects of new found wealth.
Fan’s have been eagerly awaiting this project especially after the success of Jazz’s 2017 mixtape Hotel Paranoia turned heads and perked ears. Hotel Paranoia was innovative enough to secure Jazz the Juno Award for best rap recording of the year. Fleurever carries over much of Jazz’s winning formula with some new swag.
The rapper continued working with producer Michael Lantz, the sole producer of both the aforementioned Hotel Paranoia and its predecessor Marauding in Paradise (2015). Cartier recruits several other producers on Fleurever. The new talent pushes the sound of the album into a zone where his other work has not yet tread while still maintaining traces of his earlier work.
The album seems to be split into three sections. The opening song “Soul Searcher” explores Jazz’s growth as an artist, his less than desirable choices (especially fueled by drugs and alcohol), and his hyper-focus on achieving bigger and better goals. The sections in between explore how wealth affects the way he is treated, his ability to attract women with this new found wealth, and how far he has come and will continue to go.
After “Soul Searcher”, songs like “Security”, “VVS”, and “Gliss” all focus on wealth and its effects. Recurring themes include his fear that the women who are now interested in him are more enamored with the new found wealth than who he actually is.
“Isn’t it funny how my life is riddled by bitches and money?
They didn’t hit me before I was poppin’ but now when I jump they gon’ listen like Sunny”-Security
The fifth song, “Function”, shows a slight shift in Jazz’s approach to his wealth and women. “Function” specifically shows less of a concern of whether the women like him for him instead of his wealth, but his fascination for a woman who is not impressed by his money. Throughout the song, he stresses her lack of interests for things like Gucci bags, while hyping up her interest in staying and bumping Gucci Mane.
The following song, “Right Now” slightly shifts again as we see the artist focus on his want for women instead of their motive for pursuing him. The hypnotic rhythm seems to stress his wants. Jazz rides the beat effortlessly here dragging the listener into his world of emotion and urges.
Songs like “Sex Machina” and “IDWFIL” (I Don’t Wanna Fall In Love) seem to be the opposite of the first part of the album as they no longer are obsessed with a fear of losing wealth or potentially fake love that comes with it, but; they are more interested in his ability to use that wealth to get women. IDWFIL does a particularly good job of expressing this with its eerie beat and catchy hook that manages, somehow, to linger in your ears long after the song has finished.
“Tour out in Europe, yeah you should come and visit
Just give me the day, I can book the ticket
If I take a shot, you know I’m never missin’
Big bands on me, now she wanna be my missus”-IDWFIL
Although there is somewhat of a shift the underlying sense of cynicism is still apparent both in these songs and in the songs that follow. “Godflower”, for example, touches on drugs, the come up, and women. Songs that follow aren’t as centered on women but focus more on increasing wealth, keeping his circle tight, and the effects of his hard earned wealth.
Pieces like “Xtra Terrestrial” and “Before It’s too late” not only remind us that Jazz is more cold-hearted than ever, but that he has mastered his ability to focus and will continue to increase his wealth. In “Before It’s Too Late” Jazz compares his follow through with Serena’s backhand (iconic, precise, and powerful) and repeatedly admits to being cold-hearted.
Jazz closes off his debut album with “Tempted” the perfect wrap up of the album as it explores lust, money, and the use of drugs/liquor and it’s ability to numb emotions. The album feels like a very long story with recurring themes that the author, Jazz, wants you to understand. A clear progression from his earlier work it is obvious that Jazz is a more seasoned musician and will certainly continue to improve on his ability.
If you’re interested in an album that packs a subtle punch this album delivers. Jazz manages to produce a seamless album that contains a tight duality of somber more reflective pieces and some heat for the club.