Nite Jewel

Real High

Gloriette

Jun 12, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

For nearly a decade, Los Angeles based Ramona Gonzalez (aka Nite Jewel) has slowly but steadily been perfecting her distinctive brand of homespun, lo-fi, bedroom R&B. Last summer she teamed up with local funk-wizard Dâm-Funk for a highly anticipated and long overdue collaborative EP. Nite Funk sounded exactly the way its title suggested it would and the EP was a career highlight for both Los Angeles artists. People were all, "Yes, please. More of that. We'll take all you got." And now with Real High, the second outing on Gonzalez' own label Gloriette and the follow up to last year's understated Liquid Cool, the Nite Jewel sound has been fully realized.

Real High is 41 minutes of 11 immaculately constructed, silky smooth pop/R&B meditations on love, nostalgia, and all the ups and downs in between. You got some Sade, you got some early '90s Madonna, and you most certainly got some janet.-era Janet. Gonzalez is unapologetic about these shout-outs. And that's probably because they're so masterfully layered into that aforementioned "Nite Jewel sound." It's rare for a record with so many references not to amount to mimicry or an outright impersonation, but Real High succeeds on that front and all others. It's focused, perfectly paced, bursting with emotion, and its songs are meticulously arranged. In terms of production, spaciousness is always emphasized on Nite Jewel records, which in the past has occasionally resulted in a sort of unintended formlessness, but not here. And that's because the songs are so damn strong.

Real High is the best Nite Jewel record and most definitely one of the best of 2017 so far. (www.nitejewel.com)

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