Review: Justine Skye – Emotionally Unavailable
"The Purple Unicorn" shows her true colours
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Armed with an unusually large social following the singer inked a deal in 2013 with Atlantic Records. Now two years later, following a huge break up, we see the nearly twenty year old release; Emotionally unavailable, an anthemic graduation into the adult realm of contemporary R&B.
The set begins with Justine battered and scorned over a fairly recent relationship with a fashion industry insider. "A train" depicts Justine's struggle to overcome the hard and emotional situation and her using her New York subways to reflect and reminisce on what once was. She talks about the distractions she needs "I need the noise, I need a laugh, I need the doors to shut you out".
The purple headed beauty decides it is over once and for all but is just building up the confidence to embrace this inevitable situation. Moving from trains to a turn up, Justine isn't dark and gloomy for too long as she heads to wherever the party's at on "On & On". "Can someone please tell me where Brooklyn at!?" Justine commands the audience on this number and proves that the fun side her fans know and love from her tumblr era is back. No distractions, "we gon' party like its project X" she sings continuously throughout. Frequent collaborators the Insomniaks appear for the third track on Emotionally Unavailable "Bandit" which cements Justine's liberation and sees her reverting back to being a normal teenage girl. In an island cry Justine sings "you been looking for the wrong one baby" which hints at her Jamaican ancestors. With strong resemblances to Rihanna, Justine still manages to demonstrate her diversity from very early on in the EP giving us different elements of her sound. On the other end of the spectrum the purple unicorn exhibits her stronger vocal capabilities in the more serious "sugercoated". Justine Belts- "I'm not tryna be cool right now. I'm just tryna be with you like a fool right now" which not only clearly highlights her relationship traumas, but really reflects Justine showing the world that she's ready to be a authentic and serious R&B artist. It's something she's taking beyond her sound cloud/tumblr heights, she now wants to compete on billboard and all the other charts and this song perfectly embodies her giving singing a real shot, a very promising track indeed.
After all the hoops are jumped through and Justine's finished with the parties, she finishes with "I'm Yours" which ironically displays that she perhaps isn't "Emotionally Unavailable" after all. Joining Vic Mensa for the urban summer anthem, both skid and slide through the verses making a stellar duet. The softer elements of Justine's sound are used here and there, juxtaposed to her impressive falsetto - combined with a more laid back rapping style from Vic Mensa, the track is perfect for summer lovers and even has a video due imminently.
Ms Skye has cleverly made a negative situation positive. Taking the break up she so clearly has been struggling with and creating amazing album worthy tracks in the process. Still, there is a feeling that Justine has a lot more up her sleeve skills/idea's wise and it'll be very interesting to see what the Atlantic signer has in store for her forthcoming album due early next year. One things for sure however, she's more than shown the R&B arena that the time of the "Purple Unicorn" is on the horizon.
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