Review – Jazz Cartier

Album: Fleurever
Release: July 27, 2018
Genre: Hip-hop/Trap

Another must-hear new artist from the Toronto rap scene, Jazz Cartier seems poised for greatness. In a genre where collaboration is commonplace, Cartier is here to tell his story, and he has the skill to back it up. In interviews, he has claimed to write anywhere from 200 to 400 songs while in the studio, and he is quick to scrap anything that doesn’t meet his standard. That dedication is transparently clear in Fleurever, his third studio album and a collection of songs presented with a polish that only comes from a brutal editing process.

But there is something present here that is absent from many of Cartier’s contemporaries. There is an emotional vulnerability on display here that is atypical of the genre. He readily brooches his desires and insecurities, and even tracks where he does self-aggrandize like “Godflower” do so in the context of being in a much better place now, one where he is closer to the acclaim he feels he deserves. Cartier’s ego is there, but he’s also aware of it in a way that is uncommon.

Of course, the subject matter is only one part of a track; it needs the production and performance to go with it. And both have the quality to match Cartier’s writing. The project includes a variety of producers, all Toronto locals who Cartier knows personally. Each supplies dark, bass-heavy, hypnotic beats to compliment Cartier’s mic control— without ever overpowering him. This is his project, and he is the star of every track. The album is so high-quality across the board that any stand-out tracks will likely come down to a matter of personal preference. “Gliss,” “Godflower,”  “Xtra Terrestrial” all deserve a listen. For an example of Cartier’s emotional vulnerability check out “IDWFIL.” But every track on the album is worth checking out.

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