Jafaris — I Love You but I’m in a Bad… Mood — EP Review

R&B | Soul | Rap

Listen on Spotify | Listen on Apple Music

The name of Jafaris came to me in March of last year, in which Zimbabwean born rap artist, now living in Dublin, Ireland independently released his debut studio album Stride, which was a project that I thoroughly enjoyed for it’s deep atmospheres and the creative integrity that went into the project’s narrative.

It was essentially from that moment on that I became somebody who would be keeping my eyes peeled for whatever Jafaris had up his sleeve next. And while there had been a few single released that included Jafaris as a featured artist, it wouldn’t be until June of this year, when we receive the next single release coming from Jafaris.

Titled “Glue”, this single definitely carried that engaging feel that could be found across the rapper’s debut album, whilst also having a straight-forward song that definitely assisted the track in feeling more accessible, and furthermore a fitting track to get new listeners on-board.

We would later receive a following single which carries an even stronger sense of the atmosphere found on Stride. Titled “Haunted”, Jafaris’ second 2020 single release was close to feeling like a spiritual successor to the debut albums closer “Ghost”, but had a more dance-oriented beat in the choruses that allowed it to have more of a catchy kick, in exchange for a chunk of that signature atmosphere.

But little did I know that these two singles were heralding the arrival of a brand new body of work that was arriving sooner than I expected.

I Love You but I’m in a Bad… Mood is the sophomore EP from Jafaris, following the 2017 debut Velvet Cake. Including both “Glue” and “Haunted”, alongside four completely new tracks, this new EP has a run-time of around 13 minutes, which is roughly the runtime you’d expect for a solid EP.

In an attempt to be fashionably orderly, the EP begins with the two teaser tracks I had already covered. And given that I enjoyed both of these tunes quite a bit, I feel that this does a good job to paint an exciting picture of what’s to follow.

The single which comes directly after the two teasers, titled “Beggar”, is another very enjoyable tune, and definitely fills the role of being the quintessential “get-up-and-go” tune, much like “Found My Feet” in Stride’s case. I also found the atmosphere of this track to be comparable to the likes of Obongjayar, and his 2020 EP Which Way Is Forward?.

And while I would definitely agree that this EP gets off to a truly fantastic start with it’s first half, the second half is much more debatable. It was at this point where, for me, the flame that the first half so brilliantly kindled seemed to dwindle considerably.

The fourth track “Big Baby” is definitely the most solid track of this second half, but the melody behind the production, especially with the distracting horns, made my feelings towards this track far more torn than anything in this EP’s first half.

Following this is “Frustrated”, which is essentially an interlude which transitions into the closer. However, I am just one of those people who believes that interludes should remain exclusive to larger projects, as a means to try and keep the larger amount of tracks bound together in one narrative. It feels far more unnecessary on a project as compact as I Love You but I’m in a Bad… Mood.

And as for that closer, “Mood” just didn’t engage with me. In it’s defense, the beat, when singled out, is actually really good. However, the melody felt way too transparent for me to truly get invested in, and the lyrical delivery was slow and slurry, which I feel didn’t suit this track at all.

In my heart of hearts, I feel that I Love You but I’m in a Bad… Mood would’ve much better suited being a larger project, and I definitely wouldn’t have minded waiting a few more months in order for that to have become a reality. Furthermore, the inclusion of an interlude might’ve made much more sense.

But while this project ended up being one that eventually went flacid in my opinion, at least the first half wound up serving the purpose of keeping the Jafaris engagement alive.

Favourite Tracks: Glue | Haunted | Beggar

Least Favourite Track: Mood

Jafaris | DFL Records

6/10

My articles mainly revolve around music reviews and analysis. A bit like Anthony Fantano, but just a decade behind.

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