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In My Room

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Album Review

With a slickness and precision suited for the Manhattan Transfer set and a jazzy character to match, In My Room is the 2016 debut album of crackerjack arranger, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and Internet sensation Jacob Collier. Collier began uploading videos of multi-track solo performances — often presented in a grid layout so that each vocal and instrumental take was visible — as a 17-year-old in 2011. These performances, some of which approximate complex group a cappella, evolved over time to use a vocal harmonizer, part of the multi-media set-up he developed with MIT's Media Lab to enable solo, multi-track live performance. A key component of his sound, the device allows him to sing a pitch into a microphone and get simultaneous vocal harmony as dictated by the chords he plays on a keyboard, all on the fly. Fans of his videos will recognize his hyper a cappella take on the theme to The Flintstones that's included here. While Collier's done video renditions of "Isn't She Lovely" and "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing," Stevie Wonder is represented on the LP by a reverential, well-harmonized version of "You and I." Another cover is the title track, a likewise respectful version of the Beach Boys classic. "In My Room" is highlighted by an elegant jazz piano solo — Collier's principal instrument — though its persistent fluttering bassline may draw the most attention. Speaking of bass, funk is, perhaps surprisingly, a defining element of the album. The opener, "Woke Up Today," is a wildly funky kind of make-or-break track, especially for first-time listeners. It plays like a frenetic tour of Collier's music room and a demo of his studio skills. In general, the technical prowess on display on In My Room is impressive. However, listeners will find something more organic in nature in "Hideaway," an atmospheric wash of acoustic guitar and related stringed instruments, along with an udu-type drum and acoustic percussion, accordion, and, at its center, a refreshingly intimate, single vocal line. With Collier still a student at the Royal Academy of Music during the album's creation, one can only imagine what the young musical polymath's potential may hold in store. For now he now has, at the very least, a dazzling production reel of a debut on his résumé.

Customer Reviews

The Future of Music

Jacob Collier is, in my estimation, the future of music. I did not say the future of "popular" music, but definitely the state of the art of all music that we know today. He has taken various styles, from jazz to R&B, to pop to Latin to classical and melded them into futuristic yet congruent and catchy pictures that can only be painted by the genius that is Jacob Collier. And I know the word "genius" has been thrown about frivolously through the years, but to any musician worth their salt, they certainly will recognize his unique harmonic, rhythmic and stylistic command of music!
Starting several years ago, as a teenager, he showed the brilliance that he shared in his amazing videos.

This is not music that you should play in the background while you're going about your daily actions. This is music that should be listen to and savored, especially through good headphones, to experience the sonic beauty that Jacob has created.
This will be my number one "desert island" album for years to come, I'm sure, or until he takes the next steps forward!

Genius at work

Jacob does it all…an absolute genius….can’t believe he’s not a superstar…problem is that he’s way over most people’s heads…especially all those buying such repetitive, uninspired commercial drivel today. It’s really too bad.

Genius

Songs from the core of his soul! I love love his music. If the earth could sing to the universe these songs would be its melody!!!

Biography

Born: August 2, 1994 in England

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '10s

Based in London, England, Jacob Collier is a crossover jazz vocalist and multi-instrumentalist with a flair for harmony and arranging. Born into a family of musicians, a 17-year-old Collier began uploading music videos of his crisp, multi-track, one-man performances onto the Internet from his home music-room in late 2011. Presenting most of the videos in a grid layout so that each vocal and instrumental take was visible, he would often arrange and perform up to eight-part vocal harmonies, with accompaniment...
Full Bio
In My Room, Jacob Collier
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