Photo Credit: Laith Al-Majali
In 2013, Majid Jordan – the Canadian R&B duo comprised of Majid Al Maskati and Jordan Ullman – had the sort of breakout opportunity most artists can only dream of; being featured on Drake’s “Hold On, We’re Going Home” – a top 5 global hit that’s now been certified platinum in multiple countries. The track – a slinky R&B-infused pop number about seeing someone in the club or the bar and instantly imagining spending your life with them – was acclaimed upon release; even declared the best song of that year by Pitchfork. Given the towering heights it scaled, it’s probably unfair to hold the later music of Drake and Majid Jordan to the standards of “Hold On, We’re Going Home”, yet, it still offers an interesting insight to compare this song to the musical output of both these artists this year.
Neither artist manages to quite meet the expectations set by that song. Of the two though, it’s Drake who most obviously fails in this regard; with Certified Lover Boy being a certified snooze fest – an overly long, soulless retread of past sounds made by someone who stopped trying a long time ago. However, with Wildest Dreams, Majid Jordan offers something more captivating and consistently engaging than anything from CLB. Though, in all fairness, that’s a pretty low bar to meet.
Wildest Dreams – Majid Jordan’s third album and first in four years – is a survey of modern-day rap and R&B trends; any of these could appear on the mainstream radio without raising an eyebrow; from the groovy R&B opener “Dancing on A Dream” to the ’80s indebted “Summer Rain”; that recalls the music of Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye’s latest full length After Hours.
It should, at this point, be noted that there’s nothing remotely groundbreaking on Wildest Dreams, but while the duo’s ambitions are modest on their third album, these ambitions are indeed met. Besides a few moments on the back-end where the duo feel like they’re beginning to lose momentum (“Love Unconditional”, “Sway”), all these songs have infectious melodies and Maskati proves himself here as a respectable vocalist. Whether they want to get you up and on your feet with “Summer Rain” or want to communicate the pain of longing with “Forget About The Party”, they consistently hit the nail on the head. Again, there’s nothing revolutionary or boundary shifting on Wildest Dreams, but the album offers an always-fun journey across its 38-minutes. Sometimes that’s all you need.