“Pieces of Me” by Jake Aldridge
Building a career is like creating a mosaic. Just as one tile is laid down after another, forming an increasingly complex work of art, so too do someone’s accomplishments accrue into a representation of what they do. Jake Aldridge, an RnB/hip-hop artist, has been positioning the pieces of his career into something promising. His music video topped the VTYO charts. Rude Boy, a clothing line, is sponsoring him. The list goes on, and he’s added yet another achievement to his career: “Pieces of Me.” A melancholic piano melody and the heartfelt vocals of Kelly Jenns begin the song. Shortly thereafter, the piano becomes fierier, more passionate, mirroring Jake’s turmoil as he raps about his lover betraying him. His flow is lively, precise. He doesn’t sacrifice enunciation for speed, even though once or twice it seems as if he nearly stumbles over his own words from rapping too fast.
“Pieces of Me” is about heartache, and like many similar songs, risks being mawkish and generic at times. Saving it are Jake’s emotional honesty, vivid imagery, internal rhymes, and creative metaphors: “Ripped my heart out from my chest, smashed it up to smithereens / I pictured you and him every single time we touched hands / dropping to my knees without a brush and dust pan.” The instrumental was engaging, but didn’t take many risks, and so came off as a skilled but somewhat bland recycling of the same looped piano and percussion. Though at times you could immerse yourself in the instrumental, at other times it seemed like the musical equivalent of a camera-phone photo of something beautiful: reproducing the beauty, but in a less colourful way.
“Pieces of Me” is a classic ballad to love lost, and overall is successful. For Jake’s next song, he’d benefit from the instrumental having a bit more variety, and more of a pulse.