French Superstar JAIN's Album 'The Fool' Dares to Be Itself
We all desperately avoid being cast as the fool, the one duped by others, mocked and ridiculed for lack of perception. But equally we are all foolish, prone to mistakes and given the gift of learning from them. It is for this reason, whether in tragedies or astrology, the fool takes on a greater meaning, a character removed from judgment or expectations, free to live openly, taking chances, liberating themselves. On the masterfully comprehensive, ‘The Fool,’ the French songstress, Jain, takes us on a tour de force of songwriting and self comprehension through the lens of letting go, letting love happen.
On ‘The Fool’ Jain’s third album, she continues her wondrous, emotive kaleidoscope approach to story telling: an evocative journey representative of her own that had her growing up in the UAE and the Congo. She deliberately collaborates with her environment, a musical osmosis that is immediately perceptible in her both classic but nouveau sound. Initially shy, she took to music to “say the intimate things” she would struggle to share with her immediate friends, overcoming a shyness by leaning into the arts in general, live performance specifically. While her last album was vocally driven her new album pivoted to a more guitar focused project, born from the pandemic period of being locked up in a room in Marseilles, feeling like a 16 year old, crafting a sonic diary. Reflecting its more intimate, personal sound, ‘The Fool’ is a very approachable work. It's relatable and filled with narrative connectivity that nuances Jain’s impressive talents into a serene, luscious bed of melody to lie in – most especially on ‘Take A Chance,’ a self explanatory disco riddled song that is pure scrumptious pop.
Starting with the title track, a layered building track that has lovely sprinkles of ukulele before it reveals itself as a throbbing pop confessional, ’The Fool’ is an explicitly transparent record, shining in its earnestness, a vessel of honesty willing to be filled by wistful experiences. On the record Jain comments: “The Fool as an album is a love story. When I fell in love, I just started to write and sing nonstop. It feels like a fresh start for me as a woman. A lot of things have happened in my life, I feel more at ease with myself than before and I think you can hear that in the album.” The range of the album is hard to succinctly surmise, it has lovey finger picked ballads like ‘I Feel Alive’ & ‘Maria’ and sweet airy disco tunes like ‘Night Heights’ & ‘Cosmic Love'. What stays true, though, is a consistency of quality, a willingness to be the fool in its most freeing, uncompromising delivery. Whatever your personal fears of being the fool, one can confidently say you’d be one not to repeatedly listen to this excellent album, and especially if you too are nervously edging towards love again, let this sublime work be your guide, take the step.