Careless marks the full length debut of J. Pinder. After years of appearances as both a guest and featured artist alongside other well-known talents the 23 year old emcee is going all in. The cards he has been holding includes not only his distinctive charismatic and confident flow but also a definitive vision of musical arrangements and a soulful and strong singing voice. All of these components equate to a creation that seems to defy restrictive genre classifications. Not to take issue with Duke Ellington, but Careless seems to call for a third kind of music, beyond good or bad – unbelievable.
Each of the eight Pinder and Martin Feveyear co-produced tracks on Careless is a gorgeously arranged window into Pinder’s innermost thoughts and feelings. A very personal document of growth, change and movement through a world of lovers, haters, friends, enemies and the lot of human experience, Careless is undeniably understandable. From the duet with Dice on the Kuddie Fresh produced opener “Never No” to the final trumpet note of the Vitamin D produced title track “Careless” the listener finds a rich voice that is at once powerful and vulnerable.
On the Illmind produced “Some Kind of Star” J. waxes philosophic about the game (and really, about the game of life itself) and it’s pitfalls over a heavy guitar riff and a soaring chorus provided by Zach Bruce. You may have made it but, “Still there’s pain / still there’s rain / lack of love / not a whole lots changed”. This is what it is to be a human on the planet earth – no matter what we achieve that ache will always be there.
The Jake One produced cut “Jet Stream” has Pinder taking off over a lo-fi drumbeat interwoven by a smokey riff. Pinder speaks to the ways out and around the oppressive world he was born into and poses a question to us all: Where are we choosing to go? The tension builds as J. rings in the chorus over a minimal pulsing break and by the time the Katie Freeze and Martin Feveyear string arrangement crescendos his experience is palatable.
Careless is more than a collection of songs – it is a movement of sound previously only alluded to in popular music. Pinder has shown his hand and there is no denying he has a royal flush – A multifaceted talent of vision, grace, strength, knowledge and determination.