Tardy EP Review | Jean Deaux – Empathy

This EP was released on June 14th this year. I first became familiar with Jean Deaux when she was featured on my favorite song from Mick Jenkins’ The Water[s]. I really loved her hook and verse on that song, so I made sure to keep my eye on her—figuratively and literally because she’s fine as hell. I don’t know if she had released any solo projects before 2018, but my first time hearing one from her was with that Krash project she dropped last year. I unfortunately didn’t really care for it, but it wasn’t actually bad. It just didn’t really do much for me. I liked a few tracks, but overall I thought it was just okay. Thankfully, this new project ended up being a huge improvement. I actually think this project is pretty great. I don’t usually listen to much R&B or Neo-Soul, but I dabble in the genre from time to time. With that said, I probably don’t know enough about the genre to give much of a fair critique. Usually it just boils down to “this sounds good to me.” My main issue with Krash was that it just didn’t really hold my attention. It was pleasant enough to the ear, but Jean’s smooth vocals over the laidback production kinda made it fall into the background. The thing is, this project is probably even smoother than that one, but I just feel like her vocal melodies are a bit more interesting this time around. Krash had a lot of vocal riffing, which made it sound like she was just meandering over a bunch of smooth beats. The structures of each song are much easier to discern on this project. Since I like every song, I’ll just talk about every track in the proper order. I don’t have much to say about each track anyway, so this shouldn’t be too long. The first song has some really great production from Lanre, who I believe mixed or mastered Krash. Maybe they did both. I can’t remember. Anyway, the singing from Jean sounds really good, particularly on the hook. It’s a pretty short track, and it’s not gonna blow anyone away, but I like it quite a bit. It’s dope. The following track is my least favorite song on the project, but I still like it a lot. The production from Renzell is fantastic. Jean’s singing isn’t bad at all, but it doesn’t really capture my attention that much. She sounds good, but the production is my favorite aspect of the song. Renzell’s production was also really good on the following song, Ackin’ Funny. Jean’s vocal performance is a bit more impressive to me on this track too. The actual melody she sings sounds better on this one than on the preceding couple of songs. It’s the shortest track on the project, but it doesn’t sound incomplete to me. It’s dope. The next song, Anytime, actually ended up being one of my favorite tracks on the project.

Once again, the production is great, especially when the beat actually drops. Jean’s vocals sound fantastic on the hook too, and I love the way she sounds when she’s rapping the first verse. I always like how soothing and I guess sleepy—for lack of a better term—her voice sounds whenever she raps. Kehlani is hit or miss with me personally, but I think she sounds really great on the second verse. So yeah, the song’s dope. Break Time is another really good song. The production is very good, and Jean sounds great over it. The hook is pretty catchy, and I love her rapping on the second verse. Just looking at the tracklist, Life Lines, the penultimate song, stands out the most because of the feature from DUCKWRTH and the Terrace Martin placement. It didn’t end up being my favorite track, but I definitely enjoyed it a lot. The production is super smooth and laidback—almost to a fault; it doesn’t really hold my attention. Thankfully, Jean’s singing on the first verse is really nice, and the hook is actually really good. The second verse from DUCKWRTH is great too. So yeah, it ended up being a pretty dope track. However, my favorite is actually the closing song, Speakerphone. The production from daedaePIVOT is great, and the vocal layering on the first verse sounds fantastic to me. I actually wish there was more of that on this project because it sounds more rich than a lot of the other performances. That’s the main reason it ended up being my favorite song. The hook is really dope too. 🙂


This EP is great. I was pleasantly surprised by how much more I liked this than her previous project. The production is top notch, and I think Jean Deaux has improved a lot as far as songwriting goes. One thing I will say is that I don’t think she really has the most distinctive style right now. The music she makes doesn’t really seem that different from someone like Ravyn Lenae or even Syd tha Kyd. I guess that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but she might wanna try to do something a bit more creative or out of left field if she wants to stand out more or be more memorable. I enjoyed this a lot though. Again, I think it’s great. Check it out.

Favorite Song: Speakerphone (Trust Issues)
Least Favorite Song: Higher Me

80

80-89
Grade: B+

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