A.V. Club Most Read

News Newswire Great Job, Internet!
TV Club All Reviews What's On Tonight
Video All Video A.V. Undercover A.V. Cocktail Club Film Club
Reviews All Reviews Film TV Music Books
Features All Features Newswire TV Review
Sections Film Tv Music Food Comedy Books Games Aux
Our Company About Us Contact Advertise Privacy Policy Careers RSS
Onion Inc. Sites The Onion The A.V. Club ClickHole Onion Studios

Jade Alston

We get a lot of records sent to us here at The A.V. Club. Fortunately, we end up liking some of them. In Playlisted, we share our latest recommendations.

Album: Single On A Saturday Night by Jade Alston (available for free download at jadealston.com)

Press play if you like: Beguiling, smoky-voiced R&B singers in the mold of Toni Braxton (but with none of the adult-contemporary stuffiness); forlorn, day-dreaming soul music; prolonged sighs.

Some background: A one-time VJ for a Philadelphia music-video show, 24-year-old singer Jade Alston quietly self-released her debut mixtape in the very last days of 2011, a banner year for R&B mixtapes that also saw sterling debuts from Frank Ocean, Nikkiya, and Jhené Aiko. Like many mixtapes from R&B upstarts with big-label aspirations, Single On A Saturday Night sometimes plays more like a talent reel than an album—Alston reworks Lil Wayne’s “Bill Gates” and covers Etta James’ “Sunday Kind Of Love,” and is a little too eager to demonstrate her range—but her warm, husky voice entrances throughout, and her originals introduce a songwriter with a conflicted view of relationships. She laughs off her romantic failures even as she wallows in heartbreak, and she longs for a fabulous man (or even a not-so fabulous one) to sweep her off her feet, fully aware of how ridiculous the fantasy sounds. The unspoken question of “Am I better off alone?” hangs over the whole mixtape, but she never comes to a clear verdict.
Try this: On Alston’s most downcast numbers, her lovesickness spurs some deep soul searching, but on “Missing You Lately” the singer spins those feelings into a fun, waiting-by-the-phone pop song.