Edson Sean Delivers in His Pursuit for Magic
It’s an appropriately named album for what is truly an enchanting album.
In The Pursuit Of Magic by Brooklyn-born Edson Sean is a wonderfully crafted R&B that blends together slick vocals, 90’s style R&B beats, and some fantastic lyricism. Never sounding too monotonous, Sean takes us track by track on a journey that showcases his talents and his ear for quality and savory sounds.
While the introductory track “Dreams” may feel a bit too saccharine and overproduced, “Capt’n Save ‘Em” is a wonderfully produced opening track that immediately sets the entrancing tone of the entire album. Sean’s vocal work is eloquent, with every harmony sounding luscious as they ooze out over each passing chorus. Its this vocal allure that only continues in “Show Me Something,” a guitar-laced serenade that ends with an allusion to the late Aaliyah, making Sean’s record just that much more of a captivating piece.
“Joy” feels a little more spacey, with the entire track sounding like it could have been ripped right out of Frank Ocean’s Orange. The 80’s synths add something dancey and more upbeat to what has so far been a mostly mellow record. This comes before dropping back into mellow territory with “That’s Her,” channeling some cooler vibes that haven’t yet been seen on the album.
“Right Here” is when the record really chills out, with Sean putting on display more of his soothing vocals as he croons out his commitment to being someone’s number one. It’s probably the polar opposite the following track “Stupid Me,” a song in which Sean laments his decision in cheating on his girl with her best friend. It’s a heartfelt song about a heinous crime, and yet you can feel Sean’s regret melting right off the track.
And then, yet again, we have a song that is on the opposite spectrum with “Loving You,” a song whose title is reminiscent of Bieber’s “Love Yourself.” Here we have a song that sounds like it’s about to be just another serenade, and yet Sean belts out his melancholy in having to deal with an unfaithful ex-lover. It’s a minimal song that sounds all the more genuine when sung over just a piano, putting the singer’s vocals front and centre moreso than anywhere else on the album. It’s a track whose simple message and lyrics should resonate with anyone who has ever felt played by a lover, and with its raw and basic flair it should play out to be more than just a fan favourite.
The record ends with “BK All Day,” a track that sings of Sean’s pride for the New York City borough. With the strongest hip-hop vibe on the entire record, it’s only fitting that Sean ends with this triumphant track on his debut album.
The two ‘bonus tracks’ follow, with a remix of “Stupid Me” that sounds grittier, angstier, and more scornful than the original version. You could make the argument that this is the track that should have been the original, as the singer sounds absolutely self-loathing, veering away from the mellow tone of the entire record and giving the listener something more jagged to bite into. Meanwhile “Wake Up,” featuring a hard-hitting rap verse by BD3, is a strong track that speaks up against police violence against black people, its piercing lyrics that act as a rally cry for awareness of the ever pervasive issue of anti-blackness in North America. The hook of “whatchu say now? / Sun is shining, good morning” is catchy as it is desperate, challenging the listener to literally wake up to the violence that is happening around them.
Fantastic lyricism coupled with a strong vocal performance is what caps an otherwise solid album. And while the production quality could surely be better, nothing takes away from how truly captivating Edson Sean’s album is. With tracks whose mellowness vary between songs from the likes of “Capt’n Save ‘Em” to “Right Here,” Edson Sean shows that he is ready to play hard in the R&B game. The album may be called In The Pursuit Of Magic, but it’s clear that the Brooklyn singer may have something enchanting already.