Rejjie Snow – Dear Annie
– Noah Lust
The 24-year-old artist and producer from Dublin dropped Dear Annie in February, the follow-up to his 2017 mixtape, The Moon & You, to a generally positive reception which has been heralded as a refreshing change in the music scene. He’s currently racking up over 1.2 million monthly listeners on Spotify and has a steady tour schedule that takes him through the United States, Europe and Australia/NZ, so it’s not surprising that Rejjie Snow is one of the more popular up-and-coming artists right now.
Rejjie is often been grouped with rappers such as Mick Jenkins and Isaiah Rashad; with contemporaries that ooze talent, Rejjie puts his own unique spin on this softer tone of hip hop with whispery vocals and jazz-inspired beats.
The first half of the album begins slowly, with Rejjie vocalising his love and subsequent loss of “Annie”. He often employs the same form of flow on these tracks, however it’s supported heavily by soft, beautifully produced instrumentals. He talks of the intimacy that he felt, and the separation he now feels due to the breakup. Throughout the project Rejjie explores more themes of addiction, discrimination, hope and insecurity. The interludes during the album provide an interesting break from the music, with what sounds like Rejjie explaining his album-creating thoughts with a small, intimate crowd.
Highlights of the album include:
- Rejjie’s verse on Mon Amour – introduced by chirping birds, his mellow flow is followed by a gorgeous chorus and outro sung by Milena Leblanc.
- The lead single: Egyptian Luvr featuring a Kaytranada beat, Amine verse and Dana Williams assisted vocals. One of the catchiest songs on the album, it proves to be the turning point, as this album really comes into its own in the following 10 songs.
- Room 27 explores instability and the struggle that comes with fame. One of the more vulnerable tracks on this album is matched perfectly with a hypnotic and almost drowsy-feeling beat.
- Charlie Brown featuring Anna of the North takes it’s influences from The Steady Song by Irish band: The Republic of Loose. The beat is funky, the vibe of the track is captivating, and lyrics fit perfectly with Rejjie’s unpredictable style of music.
- The second-to-last song Annie which begins with the idea of Rejjie loving Annie but having to sacrifice her because of the career he’s chosen, and the path of fame that he wants to go down. This track, despite not being the final song on the album, starts to connect-the-dots and match up the themes that have been presented thus far. Some of the best rapping on the album comes in this song, especially the lines that highlight the contrast between his love and his addiction, which seem to go hand in hand. “I can’t leave you alone/I need that go-go-gold” is a perfect example of Rejjie’s struggle to choose between his two main desires.
The only issue that arises from this album is that the soft, monotonous flow of Rejjie occasionally underdelivers and exposes the lengthy 61-minute track list, something that can be blamed more on the overall length of the project itself.
However, there’s a distinct nostalgic feel to Dear Annie that makes it an unforgettable debut from Rejjie Snow. The music is hypnotic, mellow and offers a fascinating insight into what has shaped Rejjie and his sound so far, he holds the same beautiful narrative throughout most of the album and is a really solid project overall.
We’re all looking forward to the next drop from Rejjie Snow and if you haven’t already, I’d recommend listening to Dear Annie in its entirety. 8/10
‘23’ and ‘Dear Annie’
Out now through BMG/300 Entertainment
Neck of the Woods, AucklandSaturday June 2nd
Meow, WellingtonTuesday June 5th
Oxford Art Factory, Sydney SOLD OUT
Wednesday June 6th
Oxford Art Factory, Sydney (Under 18s – early show)
Wed June 6th
Oxford Art Factory, Sydney (18+ – late show)
Thursday June 7th
The Corner Hotel, Melbourne SOLD OUT
Friday June 8th
Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane
Saturday June 9th
Jack Rabbit Slims, Perth SOLD OUT