The last time I checked in with Chicago-native, Mei, I was amazed at the beauty, honesty, and sheer talent behind his release, “Santa Fe Springs.” Ever since, I have been a major fan of the budding R&B superstar who continues to craft meaningful and angelic track after track. With his latest release, “Reserve,” it may be hard to believe but the 23-year-old once again shattered my expectations and has brought to life an ingenious record that will assure you the future rests in his hands.
Opening with a powerful counter melody on a ringing guitar, Mei’s honey-like vocals chime in with the smooth first verse setting the pace and letting the listener know, “I want nothing but some peace and quiet.” Eventually, the song stems into a powerful pre-chorus, each line swelling greater than the last and welcoming in gentle keys to the mix. The pre-chorus does not explode into the passionate chorus – just yet that is – this time around Mei takes the listener into a second-verse graced with smooth and underplayed rapping. Mei flexes his wordplay as he explains, “I never fit my momma’s jeans or her true religion,” another moment of reflection for Mei as he attempts to understand his identity and how it interplays with those around him.
Once again, the track welcomes in the heavenly swells of the pre-chorus but this time it culminates into the ever-so-fulfilling energy of one booming chorus. Lyrically, the chorus isn’t much, “reserve, reserve, reserve” echoed several times, but vocally, Mei completely shines as the track chases its end. The mix welcomes in hectic percussion and doubles the tempo, while Mei lets the rawest form of emotion shine as he belts the track’s refrain, beginning with a light falsetto the chorus eventually ends with whole-hearted screams of desperation as Mei reaches the deepest levels of his passions and shares them with the world.
This track made me feel cathartic, I found each section enjoyable and each moment building on the growing swells of the last. Structurally, the track is vastly unique with only one real performance of the chorus but it works perfectly. The peaks and valleys of dynamic are a testament to the range of emotion Mei shows, with the most underplayed vocals from Mei I have heard yet on verse 2 to the most powerful and explosive on the chorus, this track offers it all.
Overall, the record will make you feel each ounce of the emotional spectrum you possess and all of it through the vessel of Mei’s insane vocal talent. The 23-year-old is bound to garner massive attention in 2021, make sure you are there for it, as a writer and artist Mei is one of the most promising voices in the upcoming wave of talent. Checkout “Reserve” anywhere you do your streaming and make sure to let us know what you think!