It feels odd referring to ‘Dear Annie’ as Rejjie Snow’s debut album. After all, it’s now been five years since his first EP, ‘Rejovich’ caught him an initial buzz. A string of singles [including stand-outs ‘Crooked Cops, ‘Flexin’‘ and ‘Virgo‘ ] and a mixtape called ‘The Moon & You‘ proved that the excitement around him was built on far more than merely the singularity of an Irish rapper. Now signed to 300 Entertainment [also home to Fetty Wap and Young Thug] and having moved to Brooklyn, Snow seems to have ditched any sonic trace of his British heritage altogether, to the extent that Jesse James Solomon’s feature on ‘The Ends’ feels slightly foreign.
That it’s international and not ‘British’ is no criticism though; it’s an album that feels as warm and lush as it does self-contained in its own lane. Skits are so often unwelcome interjections, but they’re used to great effect on ‘Dear Annie’ to give structure to its narrative – which is just one of the many ways in which it bears an uncanny similarity to the music of Tyler, The Creator [‘Désolé’ in particular certainly wouldn’t sound out of place on ‘Flower Boy‘]. Unhelpful comparisons aside, ‘Dear Annie’ is hugely successful; fusing the most satisfyingly familiar tropes of the Stevie Wonder slow jam with a very modern approach to story-telling. Stream below via Spotify.