Why are we even pretending that we should listen to things besides the new Jeremih album? Late Nights: The Album dropped out of nowhere after more than three years of teasing fans, and it’s filled with so many incredible tracks that you should stop reading this and just throw it on.
Still here? Alright, here’s five of my favorites:
I knew this album was going to be special as soon as I heard the doubled falsetto hook that kicks this off, which is designed to catch ears when you randomly throw it on at a Christmas party (like I’m about to do in an hour). The song’s blooping production feels like a low grade fever. After listening to it a few times, I’m struck by how minimal everything is kept. He finds this groove and just grinds it out. Jeremih’s singing delivery throughout the album feels like the natural complement to all of these rappers that are singing, carving out a singing lane that places so much emphasis on hitting those rhythmic swings.
Simplest hook ever, but clever enough that no one’s done it yet: “There’s no Oui without U and I.” This is possibly my favorite love jam of the year, and so many of its best moments are wordless (which feels appropriate). Those “Aww-yeah, aww-yeah, aww-YEAHs” that build out the background make for perfect singsongs, and the vocal breakdown in the song’s bridge is another gem of songwriting talent.
“Giv No Fuks [Feat. Migos]”
Are Migos secretly the most versatile rappers in the game? I’m still not convinced they have a distinct sound, but recent collaborations with Chance the Rapper, R Kelly, and now Jeremih have all created songs that feel like they’re pushing those artists’ boundaries while still seeming authentic. “Giv No Fuks” is an absolute banger, one of those songs you can put on from pregame to sun-up and somehow get more energy out of it each time.
“Woosah [Feat. Juicy J & Twista]”
One thing I’ve yet to mention about this album: like its mixtape predecessor, it is dirty as fuck. Jeremih loves to have sex, and reminds listeners of this fact on every song. Sometimes it comes off charming, sometimes it’s a bit cartoonish, and sometimes it’s just annoyingly insistent, a throbbing reminder of what Jeremih & co. think you should be doing. (J Cole and Big Sean both overstep with verses that get a little too graphic from rappers who aren’t good at that sort of thing, like those dudes at the party who are trying to kick game when they’ve had a few too many drinks.)
The culmination of this on Late Nights is “Woosah”, which is everything a sex jam should be: graphic, longing, assured, and seductive. From the first screwed-up vocal, it sounds like he’s already set the mood. (It’s completely intentional; there’s samples of a crackling fireplace in the background.) For five and a half minutes, Jeremih proceeds to sweet talk exactly what he wants and how, with double-take lyrics that have me simultaneously rewinding and blushing. And just when it feels like the—errr, session—is over, Twista comes through with a tacked-on verse that speeds everything right back up. It’s like a sex rhythm literalized in song.
After a late night of debauchery, Jeremih sends the album off with the perfect hangover song. No drums or intricate production, just simple guitar arpeggios and Jeremih stacking some beautiful vocals to create an ode to that morning haze. “That was one hell of a party” he sings, and I’m right there with him.