I’ve been spending lots of time with Sam Reed’s new This Is Love album, and two general impressions have settled in. The first is that this is a very good album. The second is that the start of This Is Love goes hard.
After a short, spoken invocation, we’re hit with two tracks — “Come Inside” and “Real Feel Sound” — that are as intense and attention-grabbing as they are intricately assembled. Both are bursting with ideas, vocal textures, and production techniques that span the R&B spectrum, stylistically and chronologically. There’s so much density there, and so much care was put into them — I have a hard time imagining a soul or R&B fan listening through without finding moments to love and grooves to get lost in.
The rest of the album is wonderfully balanced, with melody-driven tunes, the spacious “Love Ain’t Free,” a super-fun left turn in “Astrobelt” and more, but I can’t get over how strongly the album’s start grabbed me. Congrats to Sam Reed, Devonne Harris and everyone over at Jellowstone. This is great stuff.