Majid Jordan, made up of Toronto natives Jordan Ullman and Majid Al Maskati, are the newest emergence from Drake’s OVO Sound label. They began making beats back in 2011; working from Ullman’s dorm at the University of Toronto and his parents’ basement. But in 2013, they got their break when they co-produced Drake’s hit single “Hold On, We’re Going Home.”

Technically, this is their debut album, although they released an EP, After Hours, on Soundcloud under the name Good People. After the release, Drake and his producer Noah “40” Shebib took them under their wing, and the group have since become a confident R&B duo who produce sultry ballads full of that OVO smoothness. One thing that can certainly be said about Majid Jordan is it’s familiar sound that is perfectly in line with the OVO brand.

Majid Jordan is, overall, a decent album. It’s safe and perfectly produced. It’s incredibly crisp, and it shines with subtly both in rhythm and melody. It’s inoffensive and works as a great easy-listening album that one can chill to as much as groove to. But, like Drake’s recent work, it’s just lacking some sort of power. Again, it’s a safe album that anyone can listen to and enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with that categorically, but Drake and OVO should take caution in softening their image if they still wanna come out with shot-taking tracks.

There are so many artists that come to mind when listening to this album. Tracks lean from down-tempo club tunes to songs reminiscent of Italo disco then back to beats clearly inspired by Boyz II Men and other ‘90s R&B and easy-listening. But all of these influences have a clear inclination towards reworking classic dance music & funk through the OVO ethos. Which gives us an album that is familiar but entertaining.

But that’s what OVO and Drake seem to be going for these days: just interesting enough. The lead single, “My Love” featuring– you guessed it–Drake is a passable track although it is probably the tamest track Drake has done in some time. It’s filled with the familiar angst and singing we’ve come to expect and the harmless beat that is just sort of there.

Despite the disappointing single, there are some pretty fun songs found on Majid Jordan. “Shake Shake Shake” is a peppy track with an uptempo beat and some cool ‘80s inspired synth work. The same goes for the danceable second track, “Make It Work.” Almost all of the album has this Miami balcony party feeling; making it a perfect companion to a warm summer. Even the more downtempo, R&B tracks like “Love is Always There” have a solid foundation in house music with their pumping bass drums.

Even though the album is a crisp, masterfully produced contemporary interpretation of traditional funk and R&B, it lacks that spark of greatness. It’s middling in both its vision and execution. There’s no doubt Majid Jordan will, in the future, come out with some amazing tracks and probably will produce more number one singles for Drake and other OVO artists. However, their debut album feels too cautious and too aware of what kind of album it’s supposed to be, which ultimately renders Majid Jordan as a good album, not a great one.

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