Considering Jamie Woon’s debut album Mirrorwriting set itself heavily in the realm of post-dubstep and bass music, Making Time comes as a bit of a surprise. Rather than once again crossing familiar territory, his sophomore album takes on a minimal, soulful sound, placing full focus on funky basslines and Woon’s own smooth, pitch perfect vocals. In truth, this style seems like a much better fit for him; as if this was the album he was meant to make all along.
It’s rare to witness a wrong move made, from the album’s more upbeat R&B-styled first half to the slow jams and ballads that dominate the album after Lament. Even as the album shifts into the subtler, almost acoustic style over the second half, the songs all retain similar instrumentation and that defining soulful quality. While the album does seem sectioned off into halves, the flow works well; the array of synthetic vocals at the start of Movement and the infectious bassline that follows makes a lot more sense near the album’s beginning than near the end, starting it with a good amount of energy. The only real issue with the album’s construction is that it never really moves beyond the early impressions its tracks set. Between the funk of Movement and the piano-heavy slow jam Lament that opens the album’s more subdued half, the two sides are perfectly represented.
However, the following tracks of each half also stick to the standards set by their predecessors, unfortunately never really exceeding them but thankfully never failing to meet them in quality either. In truth, this extra sense of consistency between tracks is one of the album’s defining traits. By the time the album reaches Dedication, the closing track and the only one to fall between the two stylistic halves of the album, it becomes quite obvious that nothing on the album really deserves to be skipped. Even as the closing track spans over six minutes it never experiences any dragging moments, with its use of layered vocals and synths making for a truly enjoyable chorus, highlighting the album’s use of few elements and how it makes the most of them.
So while Making Time lacks any singular stand-out tracks, in its entirety it stands as a forty minute package that’s well worth experiencing. It’s a smooth, enjoyable ride that complements Woon’s vocal style perfectly, showing that he truly knows what works for him. The consistency of the tracks is a feat in and of itself, and it makes for one of the few albums this year to feature tracks that are truly equally enjoyable, from the beginning to the end. This is an album that’s truly well worth your time.