If Janet Jackson had grown up on the streets of West London, she might sound something like Deborah Jordan. The vocalist and songwriter, who some may recall from replife’s standout track “Pangea”, seems influenced by Miss Jackson’s whispering vocals and delicate productions from her 90s phase, yet she sings with a layer of depth and emotion that Ms. Jackson has never aspired to. The Light is a masterful debut that easily channels gossamer electronic soul and broken beat rhythms into a pop gem.
Jordan is definitely entrenched in the broken beat culture of London as evidenced by productions from Atjazz and Simbad. The uptempo tracks are ripe for bouncy club nights and Bugz in the Attic DJ sets. She summons fellow Brit Lisa Stansfield on the bruk track “Let Go” and fellow scenester Bembe Segue on the catchy “Future Calling”. But Deborah really shines when she slows down the tempo and focuses on ethereal nu-soul anthems. Tracks like first single “Nothing Lasts”, the replife assisted “Home”, and the bumping “Want It Back” capture just the right amount of soulful bliss and electronic edge. The production is always inspiring and gorgeous and the album only falters slightly in the middle section where the enregy seems to have been removed. But when she references Janet on tracks like the sensual “Breathe” with its complex yet subdued rhythms and flowing vocals and the utterly gorgeous “You Could Be Here” she hits the sweet spot, creating her own sound that is equal parts pop orgasm and underground utopia.