Published May 09, 2016Detroit-born, Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and musician JMSN (born Christian Berishaj) has been drawing from his personal life to create moody and intense sounds for a few years now, and this 13-track electro-soul project finds him building off the modest success that was his 2014 self-titled effort, to varying results.
Standout number "Cruel Intentions" partakes in some serious soul-searching as it drifts along jazz-minded riffs and electric guitar licks, and the theme of self-determination continues with the gospel strains of "Power." "Good Ol' Case of the Blues," meanwhile, is moody and reflective: "I don't think about the past," he sings at one point, but given the sounds on offer here, that's not entirely true. While the production of It Is stays on point, one still gets the sense JMSN is feeling out his voice which, while interesting, is often a bit too beholden to his '90s R&B musical influences.
Overall though, It Is is a success, a record that's intriguing, sultry and ambitious in sound and narrative. With a little more sure-footedness, his next should be even better. (White Room Records)