“The Mistress II is a return to my musical roots. I needed to make music that meant something; music that had substance again…” -Jay Sean
After leaving Cash Money Records last month, Jay Sean has been trying to make a strong comeback into the industry and started off his independent movement by releasing his new project “The Mistress II” on November 18th. Stacked with 10 songs, fans will be happy to only hear Jay Sean’s voice since there are no features on this project. I have been a fan of the British artist’s music for many years now, starting from his days with the Rishi Rich Project (circa 2003). Sean teased his fans with the release of one the mixtape’s songs “Tears in the Ocean”, along with a music video to accompany it. I fell in love with this track with the first listen, since it really brought back the artist’s original R&B roots within it. Listeners claimed that it sounded like his 2008 single “Ride It” with its slow and sensual beats, but no one seemed to be complaining about this! When the mixtape dropped on Tuesday morning, I patiently waited for the project to download onto my iTunes library before diving into Sean’s hopeful comeback into the R&B world.
Track 1: Under A Veil
Sampling “The Scientist” by Coldplay, Jay Sean is painting a picture of an end to an affair with a mistress and all the emotions that come with reflecting on a relationship with a side piece. Sean’s voice simply floats along the Coldplay sample and compliments its gentle rhythm to break down his emotions with the situation he has at hand. Sean even incorporates some of Coldplay’s lyrics such as, “nobody said it was easy”, which directly correlates with the overall meaning of this semi-ballad.
Track 2: The Artist
In this track, Jay Sean is talking about a girl he interested in and how she is “an inspiration for this piece [he’s] painting”. The beat drop at the beginning is a smooth R&Beat that transforms into a slightly more electronic rhythm during the chorus. The lyrics are a bit more explicit than we are used to from Sean, but truly fits the tone he tries to set for the track.
Track 3: All I Want
Four days prior to releasing the mixtape, Jay treated his fans with this second single. He also released the music video to this song with the mixtape release, which can be viewed here. The song elaborates on the theme from the first single “Tears In The Ocean” as he continues to pay the price for cheating on his girl, but will do anything to get her back. There is a certain South Asian vibe to the beginning of the track, which takes back some of his original fans to his earlier work. Sean shows off his vocal range in this track and gives his listeners the perfect R&B vibe we have all been waiting for.
Track 4: Tears in the Ocean
On October 22nd, Jay announced his departure from Cash Money Records and that a new mixtape would be released the next month. In promotion for the tape, he released this track as his first single off the mixtape, along with a music video that can be viewed here. The song is, obviously an R&B record, where Sean professes his love for the girl that he has done wrong. This track kind of mimics the vibe of “All I Want”, which is also about getting his lost love back. Coincidence? I think not. This is definitely a fan favorite from the tape and will hopefully be playing on the radio waves very soon!
Track 5: Jameson
From what I inferred, this track is about Sean encountering a girl who left him without warning and broke his heart. The chorus includes classic R&B (with some pop) production with Sean’s molasses-like vocals coating the track with despair and raw emotion. A bit repetitive, but not too much to make this great track turn sour.
Track 6: Slow Down
This sensual track is most likely the most risqué one of the tape. You can listen to the track yourself and figure out what I mean, dear readers. The chorus consists of smooth R&B beats and Sean’s fluttery falsetto alongside his confidence shining through with the girl he’s singing about. Definitely worth a listen, if you’re a fan of Trey Songz’ or Usher’s slow jam tracks about their lovers.
Track 7: Take That Off
Most people do not know that this track was released on January 1st of this year and has been waiting to be fully released on this mixtape for more than 10 months now. You can tell from the track’s title that it is yet another sensual R&B record from Sean talking about his mystery girl (hopefully his wife) and how she looks “so much better with nothing at all”. The static drum-like beat in the background keeps this track on the upbeat side of songs off the tape.
Track 8: Sex With The Ex
Oh boy. The title of this track worried me a little bit when I first saw it, since we all know that getting involved with a past lover is always a bad idea (even Jay admits it). However, the British singer brings us another sensual yet upbeat track with more pop beats incorporated into the production. A sample of a classic song (that I cannot quite put my finger on) plays in and out of the track and adds the R&B twist we all long for from the artist. Definitely one of my favorites off the tape!
Track 9: Stop Cryin’ Your Heart Out
We hear more of Jay’s softer side with this track clearly about trying to make a crumbling love work out. You can hear the artist’s raw emotion in this record as he tries his best to keep the passion alive in their relationship. “So take what you need and be on your way and stop cryin’ your heart out” aka telling the girl to be strong and not let this love affect her in the long run. Personally, this track blended in with the tape and did not stand out too much for me.
Track 10: Pyrite
Jay Sean closes out his mixtape, “The Mistress II”, with a beautiful ballad about being able to tell the difference between a true lover and a person whose love is slowly fading away. He compares pyrite (more commonly known as “fool’s gold”) to 24 carat gold as a direct allusion to the real passion in his life. Sean’s pure vocals and orchestral instrumentals in the background really bring it out the colors in the artist’s voice. A great track to complete this amazing project!
Overall, Jay Sean has completely outdone himself with this mixtape. I can honestly say that he is one of the most underrated R&B artists in the game, but he is back and better than ever. I give this project a solid 4 out 5 for Sean staying true to his classic R&B roots and incorporating many different vibes and beats without becoming too repetitive. Definitely a must-listen for fans of Usher, Trey Songz, Chris Brown, and other classic R&B artists. Welcome back, Jay!
Intrigued yet? Listen to the mixtape in its entirety right here.
By Rupal Mehta