Loss plays out in strange ways. Grief is one part of it, when the profundity of I will never see this person again is such a cruel shock that what you do isn’t crying, nor is it weeping: It’s the tear-stained bellowing at your gods or the cruelties of the world that’s yanked someone from this mortal coil and left you as a loose end.
And then there’s what comes after. A life suddenly framed entirely by an absence. And so it, life, goes. You may not wail with inarticulate rage anymore, you left that at the funeral, but you come home to all pieces of their life still a part of yours and you remember. You’re always remembering. What could I have done? Nothing is the answer, and “nothing” is what you’ll hear from anyone you ask the question to. Despite this, there is it, always. What could I have done. What could I have done.
And while you might talk, talk to someone about all this, the only way this resolves in any salient way for you, is through you. That’s it, that’s all. There’s no right way to do this. Nsolo’s Jam Collections is one such story: externalised and rendered transcendental.
Let me explain: It would have been easy for Nsolo to make an inward looking utterly self-indulgent LP based on loss. Half of music is based on one version of this, losing the girl/boy/whatever your descriptor, and plenty have made careers on this alone. However beautiful some of the ways this loss is rendered, Nsolo isn’t talking about this. It’s deeper, more final, and thus exponentially more difficult to write about.
But Nsolo does it. And while I don’t presume to know what said loss his, or his character, spends the length of this LP dealing with, in honestly the most empathic way I’ve ever heard, you’re on this journey with him. Through the reverb-buried vocals and incredibly dense yet beautifully clear production that defines his sound on this record. To discuss individual tracks here would be a disservice to the album, there are no highlights here, and every song is a single. So as far as this is concerned, let me say this: Regardless of context you are completely alone when you hear ‘Lone,’ and upon ‘Relief’ you’ll be exhausted, changed, but also subject to the most profound catharsis.
And then it ends.
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