Album Review: Majid Jordan – ‘The Space Between’
Raw, uncompromising, and heartfelt. These adjectives best describe the feels trip that is The Space Between, the latest release by Canadian R&B powerhouse Majid Jordan.
With gripping sonic flair, the duo has created a work that will leave you pleasantly hollow with its no-holds-barred approach to the potential toxicity of love. This is an intimate tale of relations gained and lost, that all can relate to in some regard.
Sometimes, it feels like your mind is trudging through molasses, as on the poignant ‘You’. The emotion here is strikingly honest; it’s not some façade contrived to make a catchy hook. An artful bit of voice modification keeps you on your toes, as you glide through this near-six-minute masterstroke.
The ‘Intro’ and ‘Outro’ tracks make for an album that is satisfyingly bookended, a rush of traffic in the former becoming a dull, lonely refrain in the latter. It’s not a happy listen, but rewards a heavy investment all the same, as it takes you to an elusive paradise of simpler times.
The slow-burning ‘Phases’ illustrates this mindset beautifully, at one point methodical, at another pulse-pounding, the drumbeats frenzied.
It’s small lyrical flourishes like “I think ‘til I fall asleep” that make the album shine. There’s no overstrung grandeur, just a simple, straight to the point assertation delivered with vulnerability.
Perhaps the most appreciative aspect of the album is how unpretentious it is. “If you keep your hands on me I’m hoping/That the world won’t feel so lost and broken” could sound cringeworthy in the hands of another artist, but somehow Majid Jordan give a heady spin to the words. Scattered instrumentation allows the gravity of the lyrics to sink in, providing a substantial backing to the torrent of feelings.
Beelining between frantic and frazzled, the album never gives you a chance to come up for air. It’s a place to lose yourself in, where artist and listener become one. Subdued, thoughtful synth never rises above its melancholy station, measured but captivating in its application.
A somewhat subtle change of pace comes with the title track. Here, there seems to be a ray of reconciliation. As the plea goes out to “Live in the moment with me/Live in the space between”, it’s hard not to feel inspired, wanting to accept the offer in lieu of the lover. Perhaps at odds with its peers, the song implores sharing the love around, rather than focusing it on a certain subject, a focal point.
The sole criticism that can be levelled at the album is that, it suffers from being predictable. Thankfully, its strong, consistent theme means that this predictability is tempered somewhat, the creative, surprising instances being more than enough to prevent a downward shift to monotony.
Stoic in its isolated sphere, The Space Between fades out with a cool dissolve, leaving much time for self-reflection and self-acceptance. Constructed with the utmost care, Majid Jordan have produced a deep, moving work that is as crafty as it is sombre, sticking with you well after the last note fades, a fine companion for lonely, lovelorn nights.