Before Love Came To Kill Us

Island Records

Jessie Reyez is one of the most refreshing and unlikely pop stars working in music right now.

Of course, we’re seeing a lot more deeply personal content from many artists recently, but nobody is quite so brutal and blunt about how they opt to tell their story. In the most Reyez way possible, this album opens up with a smoky sax and murder threats.

Dropping back the hip-hop and R&B production for a new orchestral, cinematic sound that allows ample space for her piercing vocal tone, Reyez paints a series of beautifully tragic pictures of unattainable or doomed romances.

Featuring quite a few classic-sounding doo-wop inspired tracks, almost every track contains twistedly morbid metaphors for love, as if they were designed to waltz to at a funeral.

Love, like death, is an enormous concept that hangs over us at all times and dictates so much of how we act. Regardless if Reyez wanted love or not at the time, it never seems to work out the way she wants it to. The album’s title refers to a friendship that was “killed” because he jumped in before Reyez was ready. 

Adding some heart-wrenching personal twists about deportation and her sexual assault by a well-known music producer, everything Reyez says here hurts, but it sounds so beautiful.

Best Track: Coffin