Author: Chealsea Hunt
Christian Berishaj, better known by his stage name JMSN (pronounced Jameson), has just released his third studio album, It Is.
This latest effort by the R&B artist is reflective of his struggles in life, both personal and professional. There’s a raw honesty to every song, each track laden with genuine emotion. Any listener familiar with the sting of heartbreak or life’s hardships will be able to find themselves in this album.
In terms of lyrics, the overall meanings behind JMSN’s songs are generally relatable. However, some tracks are undoubtedly stronger in regards to actual word choice and composition.
The record starts off well with it’s title track, “It Is.” The song is straightforward and heartfelt. The lyrics are beautiful in their simplicity, standing in perfect contrast with the highly dramatized string accompaniment.
There’s something bout the way
I could die for love and be satisfied
It’d be worth my whole entire life
I would dedicate and sacrifice
But there are other moments throughout the record when it seems JMSN’s raw emotions got the best of him. Simple became simply basic, and repetition became a problem.
“Funk Outta Here” was perhaps the worst culprit. The final two minutes of the song consist of the same phrase repeated.
As far as the lyrics themselves are concerned, JMSN was at his best when he refrained from overstating sentiments and managed to reign himself in.
But vocally, some of the strongest moments on the album were when JMSN cut loose. The runs on “Cruel Intentions” added a level of soul to the record, really bringing the funky R&B track to life.
However, JMSN’s true strength lies in his backing arrangements, in his varied use of musical styles and wide array of featured instruments.
It Is ranges from the bouncing reggae inspired “Hypnotized,” to the vulnerable R&B ballad “Most of All.”
This relatable record absolutely has its strong points, with a solid variety of stylistic inspirations and a strong emotional foundation.
Continuity could have been better maintained (the interlude “Juice” was a needless disruption), but overall, a promising album from a musician with great potential.