Constructing an album that seems to take sudden U-turns, before finding an ebb and flow, musician Racquel Jones steps into the role of the all powerful Creator, the Artist penning spitfire lyrics and stringing together a world caught in a delightful dissonance of her own making.
‘IgnoRANT,’ released via Magnetic Moon Records, is the latest release from Jones, a 12-song album that deconstructs, criticizes and explores everything under the sun from religion, relationships and the self. Not shying away from controversial topics too blunt for the cultural mainstream, Jones makes a space for herself and does not shy away from the chaos and symmetry in her mind.
Starting with the monologue-like “Invocation,” Jones introduces her wide array of thoughts with the preface: “This is about me, but about you at the same time. This is about everybody, but nobody at the same time. Cuz really, do you hear me? Do they hear us? Are they listening? Oh, but you? You gonna hear me.”
Taking aim first at religion, she dives into “Sacrilege,” pointing out quite clearly the detrimental affects of forcing the concept of God and religion onto people, as it has usually been a means of control and abuse. The visceral, raw lyricism and heavy industrial instrumentals pour into “Anger,” a no holds barred refusal to be held down or denied.
Switching tonally, Jones weaves in a soft, glimmering rendition of liturgical praise, with “Doxology.” She also directs her questions and critique inward, with songs such as “Ugly” and “Heartless” finding beautiful strokes of finesse alongside her sharp-tongued brilliance while reflecting on the concepts of beauty, relationships and self-love. In these less quipped moments, Jones shows the enigmatic balance of feeling both vulnerable, yet willing to fight.
“I create music that’s conceptual, but not too esoteric, intelligent but dope, relatable yet deep, revolutionary and soulful, thoughtful in its words, learned in its language, but totally accessible,” Jones notes. ”That’s me and I’m baring my soul for the world to see and hear.”
Ending with “Queen,” Jones breaks down her worth and right to proper representation in a funky, disco-laced mantra of self-love, self-expression and empowerment. The edge and anger of previous songs on the album are still felt, but the ending sentiment is one of actual power and vindication.
“It may seem at times cynical, sarcastic, provocative and uncomfortable, but the anguish is palpable by intention,” Jones explains. “It’s a voice unique but one that anyone can understand. It’s the voice of undiplomatic gritty intelligence, relatable to all cultures, transcending pop cultural vernacular and ‘waves’. It’s the voice of powerful women made to feel powerless. It’s the voice of black kings made to feel less than human. It’s the voice of sexual freedom in the face of misogynistic false standards for women. It’s the voice of a young Jamaican woman who’s seen the world and its parallel stereotype universes in all cultures. It’s the edgy voice of Jamaica, a rebel beauty queen, a fallen preacher’s child, the only sister among three brothers, four years in art school and a bachelor of fine arts. That’s me, I’m that voice. I’m Racquel Jones.”
Words: Patti Sanchez