I love this track. I found out about this through Rap Genius about three months, and I’m so glad I did. This is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard. Jean Deaux has an absolutely incredible voice, and it draws you in from the first moment. Wait. Hold on a minute. Have I just got straight into a review without a long, drawn-out introduction? Looks like I’ve ruined that now, I’ll get back to it!
As I said, Jean Deaux has an incredible voice. An absolutely amazing voice, that reminds me of someone I heard when I was younger, but I have no idea who. It’s smooth, but not boring. It’s the kind of voice I could listen to for hours and still feel the same as the first time. Even though the voices aren’t that alike, in that respect, she reminds me of Corinne Bailey Rae, in having that kind of impact on me.
This song also employs the talents of Saba, on both a verse and production. I’ll get to his verse in a minute, but the beat is nice, it’s calm and chilled, but keeps up the tempo, it’s not slow, and the kicks every now and then work with Jean’s voice. Already in danger of overusing the word “smooth”, it’s all just so…smooth.
This song is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful. At the time of writing, I’ve been on holiday for two weeks. It’s the day before I head back, it’s raining outside, and these birds that always walk past have been back again. I know this personal anecdote may not be appreciated, but this feels like a perfect moment for me at the moment, I’m really happy. Here’s a photo of those three birds.
Sorry, I just had to write this, everything felt too good not to. The songs itself is about, as per the Rap Genius description, “giving someone what they want even though it may harm them, because you love them so much.” The description goes onto say “Jean uses this concept to spin the story of Samson and Delilah in the visual that is said to be continued.”
I’m glad they wrote that, because if I tried to, it probably would have been twice as long. But yeah, the lyrics aren’t all literal, it uses metaphors such as in the following bars:
Rain pours on our stained floors, in our rain forest
And the sky leaks
And the angels fall
Did you ever seen it?
Have you ever mean it?
Deaux’s verified explanation on the fourth and fifth bars (viewable by clicking the link there) explain exactly the kind of mindset she went into the song with, and it makes sense. While there are different viewpoints on what the song represents, with obvious drug and sex references, I’m not going to get into that too much, as you may have your own opinion on that. Jean’s hook reinforces the theme of doing what makes someone happy regardless of how it will harm them:
I can get you high
High off love, off life, off death, off crack and meth
If that’s all you wanted
Saba’s verse adds a male perspective, but not in a simplistic manner, the lyrics here are phenomenal. He talks about her allowing him to live how he wants, with it appearing to be a drug-infused lifestyle he prefers. The peak of the song on my opinion comes from some of the final bars of his verse:
I attempted to explain the lyrics on Rap Genius, which you can read if you click the lyrics. However, I’m going to throw them in here, let me know if you think my explanation is accurate.
The twelve-step programme is a set of principles used by recovering addicts in groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous. The twelve steps they walked is a reference to their attempt to kick the habit. As the steps go up, this may show that she is a level higher than him, either on the road to recovery, or as a result of drug use.
One story apart is a reference to the previous bar; the twelve steps that separate the two physically, on a different level in the building. However, the story also links to Aesop’s Fables, a collection of tales written by Aesop c620-560 BCE. Aesop himself, besides being a story-teller, was thought to be slave; Saba uses this to show his devotion to her.
Saba also believed that his story was already written, however she deleted this, changing what he believed his future to be.
To conclude this tangent, I sent that to Jean, but I can’t find her reply. I could, however, find Saba’s.
Yeah, so after this verse, the hook repeats before the track ends. Like I said, I think this track is absolutely beautiful. The video is simple, but cool, and it works well to add to the song. I’m less focused on that than the lyrics though, so I’ll leave it at that. I implore you to check the song out, you won’t be disappointed.
You know sometimes, something happens, and it makes everything good? That’s just happened for me. I love it when I can get the subject of my review to give them a read, and I’ve only had positive feedback, likely because my reviews have almost entirely been on things I’ve liked. That said, today, Jean’s reply has made this entire WordPress account worthwhile. I dunno, I haven’t got any more words for this at the moment. Thank you.