Topaz Jones is back and evolved. The 27-year-old artist had not released an album since the spark-inducing release of Arcade back in 2016, although he did satiate fans with the sporadic single and sparsely shared two-pack. The result of those years of refinement leads us to now, and the release of his 13-track visual album, Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Mama. Released both as an album and as a 35-minute short film, which won a Sundance award, Topaz Jones tells a compelling and narrative-driven story that explores the complex questions that swirled around his upbringing and adult life as an artist.
Built around a commitment to introspection, Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Mama remains steadfast in its mission to dissect intimate questions about love, destiny, racism, artistic expression, and finally, an unwavering optimism. Texturized by a lush soundscape comprised of layered elements of funk, jazz, r&b, hip hop, and left-of-center alternative, Topaz Jones excels in his ability to mold all facets of these genres to create a melting pot where they not only co-exist but thrive. These aforementioned styles create fertile ground for Topaz Jones to weave in-and-out of soulful crooning to poignant raps that vividly depict adult-realizations on childhood memories.
The 70s inspired sounds of “Baba 70s” and “Gold,” captures a groovy time in a bottle, while “Who?” and “Buggin” open the sound-space up for a funk-fueled brand of Hip-Hop where his lyrical chops can thrive in providing metaphor laced comparisons. The dance-centered grooves of “Amphetamines,” “Herringbone,” and “Black Tame” all act as sonic landmarks of the project’s hip-moving spirit while still holding tight to the commitment to introspection. The current of jubilation and funk that pulsates throughout the project also picks its spots to delve deep tactically, like on “Sourbelts” and “D.O.A.” where Topaz almost lays down his musician mantle to speak through a stream-of-conscious-like flow; sporadic and honest.
Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma is bigger than an album. The 13-track body of work is a dense declaration, a 39-minute Q&A, where both fans and Topaz Jones himself find answers.
Listen to Don’t Go Tellin’ Your Momma by Topaz Jones below.