We’ve been waiting for weeks with bated breath. Now — after what seems like a year — Ukraine’s Jamala has unveiled her much anticipated album 1944 across Europe.
The 12-track album, which was released by Universal Music Denmark, the producer of the Eurovision Song Contest album, includes nine songs in English and three in Ukrainian. She’s bridging east and west and keeping it real in the process.
The album opens with the enigmatic and familiar title track “1944”, setting an ethereal and haunting pace for Jamala’s first album since winning Eurovision. “1944” is stylistically different from any other Eurovision winner in recent memory. It isn’t pop. It isn’t soul. Nor folk, opera, or R&B. And that makes it a fitting opening for this genre-defying album, which pops from folk to soul to R&B to dance to techno, at times mixing them to great effect.
Track 2 — “I’m Like a Bird” — acts as an interlude, a mysteriously techno sorbet that cleanses your pallet of “1944” before moving on to the unexplored territory we’ve all been waiting to hear. That territory is as varied and undefinable as the title track.
“My Lover” and “Thank You” are by far the most danceable tracks on the album. “Thank you” could very well be a EuroClub dance hit if nudged along by a little remixing and more prominent beats. “My lover”, on the other hand, is better suited for a Brazilian café late at night, when the intelligentsia sip their macchiatos and Dewar’s-on-the-rocks while only pretending to dance.
Jamala comes off more relaxed — almost sensual — as she delivers the rest of her melodies.
“Hate Love”, “Drifting Apart”, “With My Eyes”, “Way to Home”, and “Breath” froth with R&B soul. They sound both new and familiar — akin to an experimental Janet Jackson album. Yet, owing to the other-worldly qualities of Jamala’s breathy but controlled vocals, they are unmistakably Jamala.
None of the songs stand out as mainstream hits and some will inevitably be lost in the annals of pop history. Her evolution, however, won’t be. Jamala is in a genre of her own — a genre she is creating and grooming in front of us as we listen.
TRACK LIST FOR 1944:
2. “I’m Like A Bird”
3. “Hate Love”
4. “Watch Over Me”
5. “Perfect Man”
6. “My Lover”
7. “Drifting Apart” (feat. The Erised)
8. “You’ve Got Me”
9. “Thank You”
10. “With My Eyes”
11. “Way To Home”
Universal Music Group will release the album in the USA and other territories in the near future.
What do you think of Jamala’s new album 1944? Is it everything you’ve ever wanted and more? Let us know!