Music

Jordan Rakei - "Mind's Eye" (Singles Going Steady)

Everything about "Mind's Eye" seems designed to draw you in gently, and then there is Jordan Rakei's remarkable voice.

Mike Schiller: Everything about "Mind's Eye" seems designed to draw you in gently. There's the energetic (though never chaotic) two-step-style beat, there are guitars just as willing to experiment with jazz as they are to strum quiet rock chords, and then there is Jordan Rakei's remarkable voice. Even when he is wallowing in melancholy, even when he is wrestling with problems and solutions, his voice is there, a deceptively gentle instrument that always seems like it's being delivered with a smile. He may want to tackle heavy and heady topics, but at no point in "Mind's Eye" does he forget that he is performing, and the song soars for that acknowledgment. [9/10]

Adriane Pontecorvo: Soulful and simple, "Mind's Eye" is a subtle emotional jam, slinky and synth-centric. Jordan Rakei has a laid-back voice that recalls fellow Oceanic groups Fat Freddy's Drop and Sorceress, and while "Mind's Eye" is not quite groundbreaking, it serves as a good example of what Rakei can produce - and how he can make it sound effortless. A stylish track with a lot of promise, if not a lot of impact in and of itself. [6/10]

Rod Waterman: This is pretty. I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I'd never heard of Jordan Rakei before, but now I want to hear more. Reminds me of Jamie Woon a little bit, and that's good company to be in. If there were a techno-pop equivalent of yacht rock, this would be it. Yacht-hop. And I mean that in the best possible way. [8/10]

John Garratt: Between the mumbly vocals, the aimless guitar, and a drum beat that can't decide to whether to take the song to another level or not, "Mind's Eye" sounds devoid of any identity. Did Rakei just paste together a bunch of sounds that he thought would sound cool? Or is this a song that was actually "written?" [4/10]

Mick Jacobs: Both frantic and soothing at the same time, a rather impressive feat in itself. It would be even more impressive if Rakei's vocals on the chorus felt a little less clumsy, as if struggling to keep up with the swift beat below him. [7/10]

William Nesbitt: The video leaves a whole lot to be desired as it's a single, not-so-interesting image freeze framed like an old VHS tape. Visually, the mind's eye doesn't look like too interesting of a place to be. The vocals are smooth and emotional but nothing exceptional. Still, I think I could listen to more of this. [6/10]

Jedd Beaudoin: Not bad but I can't help but feel I've heard this song a few trillion times before in different guises. Nice voice and all that but pretty forgettable overall. [4/10]

SCORE: 6.29

Face: A Visual Odyssey (By the Book)

By turns alarming and awe-inspiring, Jessica Helfand's Face: A Visual Odyssey offers an elaborately illustrated A to Z—from the didactic anthropometry of the late 19th century to the selfie-obsessed zeitgeist of the 21st. Enjoy this excerpt of Face, courtesy of MIT Press.

Jessica Helfand
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