Juxtaposed against Hurts, Garden is far more what we expected from Emeli Sandé’s return to music. The production of the track is a lot more of that soulful doo-wop that we loved from her first album, but it fuses a little more funk and hip-hop into the beat. You start vibing from the moment the track opens. Her vocals are also a lot better here. She doesn’t sound as strained to be heard over the beatwork as she did with the first single and the effortlessly cool that comes across is both sensual and a good fit for the theme.
The lyrics are good and probably one of the best part of the track, but it’s a bit of a mixed bag for the casual listener. Jay Electronica’s verse is on topic, it feels a lot darker than what this song called for (it’s not though). Sandé sings about wanting to be with her man everywhere and any time of day; Jay Electronica speaks on how she has saved him from a series of one-night stands with real love. The big difference comes from the imagery each uses to frame the feeling. She is a little more light and life; his more hood hope. They work together just fine if you listen closely, but he may lose some folks who are listening casually. Still, he manages to bring that lyricism that makes him stand out to the table and we can always be grateful for that.
Long Live The Angels comes out November 11.