I have been a fan of Jarrett Michael’s music for a few years. His raw and honest approach has always made me respect his craft. However, his latest album, What A Year, takes his skills to new heights. Hip Hop artists may find it difficult to carve out their own sound in today’s music landscape. Thankfully, this is not the case at all for Jarrett. His flow and delivery, coupled with his gritty tone make his rhymes unmistakable.
The six track set kicks off strong with “FU ’16”. The dreamy track is the backdrop as Jarrett candidly talks about his personal struggles and triumphs over the last 365 days. There’s something about this song that has a vintage feel, which suits the subject matter well here. He’s ready for change and forging ahead to higher heights. He follows up with “can YOU love me…” with a sing song rap flow that he pulls off very well. Jarrett is letting everyone that he is unapologetic about remaining true to himself.
“YRS. 2” rolls in with a stutter step drum pattern. There is no question that he is passionate and telling it like it is on this one. He openly talks about a topic we all can relate to: love and breakups. The story ends on a happy note as he shouts his excitement for his woman. “MIDNIGHT HR” warns us of foes who disguise themselves as friends. His rapid flow is a nice contrast to the molasses production. Plus, the ending skit is hilarious.
Jarrett opts for a more Pop and R&B influenced sound on “answered?’s”. This is the mellow love song on the album. This is the kind of song you put on when you really want to relax and chill. “1924” closes out the album on a deeply personal note. He recounts the feelings of the exact moment he found out when his grandmother passed away. Songs like this truly showcase his versatility as an artist. He’s also willing to get down in the trenches of his feelings and share them with his fans. 2016 made up for one hell of an album for 2017. Make sure you get Jarrett Michael’s What A Year on all digital music retailers.