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For Your Eyez Only Music Review

For Your Eyez Only

What's Your Rating of For Your Eyez Only?

Gary Casey, Entertainment Editor

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Cole has seen wide success because his music is accessible. He doesn’t try to achieve complex artistic ideals. Instead, he does what he’s good at, which is speaking to his listener directly. Jermaine Cole has an undisputed ability to put a listener into his own shoes and show them what he can see, which has been the mark of many of the most highly talented and influential musicians. Cole’s album comes at a delicate time of social movement and political controversy. Listening to For Your Eyez Only, one can feel and understand the injustice that has mobilized a country.

That is not to say that Cole made this album for anyone but one person—he even says so in the title. The voice that I hear isn’t beckoning for justice. He’s taking a break from making music for other people, and he’s doing it for only one person, not because he owes it to him or his daughter, just because it’s the human thing to do. Cole is speaking to a girl in her father’s voice because he’s the only one that can.

Cole’s use of vocals and instruments resembles a whisper. This album is the most personal to him so far, and it comes from a place in his heart that hadn’t yet been revealed. Loneliness echoes through in every track.

This album also marks an important milestone in J. Cole’s life. He exhibits a maturity that many of his listeners weren’t expecting to hear or that they themselves haven’t found.

One of the themes of the new album is duality: love versus fear, integrations versus segregation, ignorance versus awareness, Cole versus his anonymous friend. There are parallels in this music that I find fascinating. Take, for example, “She’s Mine, Pt. 1” and “She’s Mine, Pt. 2”. He’s expressing the same life-changing, overwhelming love at two different points in his life. He draws a comparison between the two holiest moments of his life, each time with the quiet, broken voice of a humble father. Throughout the album Cole appears to switch personas periodically. He is alternating between both him and his friend and two conflicting sides of himself.

Cole makes a complete turnaround in his newest album, For Your Eyez Only. There are layers and messages embedded in this work that will touch upon an entirely different part of the human condition. Whether this album was only an experiment or Cole has decided to change his direction entirely remains to be seen, but don’t think that you know his music before you’ve heard his newest release.

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The student news site of Austin College
For Your Eyez Only Music Review