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A Magazine for Sheffield

Jaroo Synesthesia

Released: 1 December 2020

Overcoming the barriers caused by lockdown, Manchester rapper Jaroo released his album Synesthesia this January. The mood of this 11-track album ranges from swaggering to reflective to sinister, displaying Jaroo’s (and producer Mankub’s) versatility.

With its luscious flute and mellow keys, ‘One Love’ is one of my favourite tracks. It almost feels like a lockdown anthem with its message of love and unity. In ‘Family’, Jaroo talks honestly about the challenges and value of our nearest and dearest over a spacey beat.

Collaboration across the rap fraternity plays a role in fusing the album. ‘Double It’ is a bouncy battle rap which showcases Jaroo’s skilful wordplay. In a similar vein, ‘Rat & Spider’ is a rocky number with a guest feature from rapper Amos, and ‘This Thing’ boasts West Coast rapper Blu alongside Jaroo’s lyrical prowess and dope scratching from DJ P-Nuts.

Elsewhere, Jaroo shows his song-writing range. ‘Left Hook’ is a jazzy track with sparse piano, discussing resilience in the face of adversity, while ‘Plenty To Say’ is all kinds of mellow, with warm keys and guitar framing Jaroo’s quiet stoicism and commitment to his art form. In ‘Set In My Ways’, Jaroo takes a humorous look at the ageing process over a romantic, saxophone-driven beat. An eerie, piercing flute sets the tone for the dark warning story ‘LCD’, and the sample in ‘Amber’ reveals the root of the album’s title.

The takeaway phrase is saved ‘til last, as the dreamy ‘Self Therapy’ concludes that, “good times, good vibes is the only recipe”.

by Red Hen
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