Jaywop is back, but this time to deliver his second LP Corduroy. Following the release of his single “Red Water,” Corduroy garnered a considerable amount of attention and anticipation from his growing fandom. When I first heard the single, I immediately knew that he had something special up his sleeve. Now that I’ve had the album sitting in my lap for a couple of days, I can happily confirm that it was all worth the wait.
Corduroy feels like a natural and well-executed transition from its predecessor, Suede. With both names sharing textural references, they can serve as hints as to what to expect from both albums. Although they share roots in certain melodies and overall sonic ideas, much like the fabric, Corduroy feels like a clear step up in his career. Offering lush and at times playful songs, while remaining clear and consistent, I wouldn’t be surprised if this album – much like my beloved pair of brown cords – became a staple in my life.
Thematically, Jaywop remains faithful to certain driving references, which make more than a few appearances throughout the album. From the portrayal of the end of a relationship in “Drive,” to taking control of his life and aspirations in “Two,” these references are cleverly scattered around the album, and are one of the many strings that tie the project together.
Corduroy also follows a certain structure and sequence, which effectively contributes to the album's pace. The first three songs, “Drive”, “B Roll,” and “Paris 2 Portland” have the subject of relationships or situationships – you can be the judge of that – as a common denominator. Relatively upbeat with equally enticing basses and melodies, these songs are perfect to ease any listener into the project.
Three songs in, we have reached what I would consider to be the second part of the album. Starting off with a short 22-second interlude titled “Seams,” the comical voicemail marks the beginning of a lighter section in the project. Now that we’ve moved on from the confusion of outside relationships, Jaywop is ready to show another side of himself. Tracks like “C&C” and “Rounds” carry on the consistent songwriting displayed earlier on the album with irresistibly enticing narratives.
By this point, it’s clear that the rapper has built an undeniably convincing case for his talent and work ethic. Track after track, listeners are met with compelling stories disguised as well-produced and balanced songs. Filled with catchy yet equally impactful choruses, and sharp as well as quick-witted verses, I could see a track like “Rounds” becoming a crowd favorite. Accompanied by well-fitted features; Wop never falls short of the mark.
Reaching the end of the album, the last three songs give considerable insight into Jaywop’s past, present, and future. Featuring the aforementioned single “Red Water,” its placement and instrumental refinements anchor the song, perhaps giving it more momentum and depth. Finally, the last song, and title track, wraps up the album on a promising note. As his stars are finally aligning, “Corduroy”- both the song and the project – is a testament to the rewards of strength through adversity.