Jack Freeman has been other things; a student, a physical trainer, and a collegiate football player among others. But Jack Freeman is one thing: a singer. He hinted at such on his debut EP, Dark Liquor, a six-song set of tracks that flashed moments of undeniable talents, and crystallized the point on his most recent LP, Lynnie’s Juke Joint, a lush tangle of story lines and sounds.
In his two years of performing, Mr. Freeman, born of a family of singers, has proven himself capable in nearly all musical capacities. He has tussled with slow-mo love epistles and bounced with uptempo discos. But he is at his most striking, his most viscerally acute, when he drags himself through the gravel, when he allows his bottom-of-the-abdomen baritone voice to fully relay a pathos that belies his mere 24 years on Earth.
Were that not enough, Mr. Freeman is also unexpectedly binary, a characteristic Frank Ocean, Miguel and every other new great R&Ber seems to possess. On his track “Slow Dance,” for example, he high-fives Donny Hathaway while in the middle of a DJ Screw hat tip. Jack Freeman is undeniable, emotive, modernized R&B; too retro to be exclusively referred to as neo-soul and too contemporary to be called traditional. He is Edwin Starr with an iPhone, Anthony Hamilton with an edge-up. In short, he is a juxtaposition, a combination of opposite sounds an influences. Even shorter: He is a singer.
It’s all he’s ever been.
Check out one of his songs “Juke Joint” below.