The Floacist’s Rise of the Phoenix Mermaid is one of those rare albums that have a truly personal feel. Unlike the made to order, easily digestible fodder produced by most artists, you’ll complete the album feeling as if you know the Floacist a lil’ better. With her propensity to discuss romance and relationships, the album approaches the familiar, but including her lineage and progeny as subjects assist in making this listening experience unique. To keep things interesting during the 11 track peek into the British-Jamaican Poet/singer’s life there are several helpings of her Carib heritage in the form of reggae rhythms within her usual jazz/soul/R&b stew. You can call this album many things, but predictable is not one of them.
It’s easy to mistake Rise of the Phoenix Mermaid as a solely romantic endeavor when the first track you hear is the powerful lead single, Feel Good. Even though a large portion of the album is a fantastic companion piece to a candlelit dinner with your significant other, The Floacist also drops gems to encourage and motivate. Quite often you will lose yourself in a soulful or jazzy track only to realize she’s actually spreading lyrics of substance across them. Whether by design or accident, this is an effective way to get us to imbibe her musical medicine.
Rise of the Phoenix Mermaid excels when it remains in its zone – the fine line between meaningful lyrics and hypnotic beats, creating an ineffable tapestry of loveliness. Although most times her experimentation works (Grandma), there are times when it falters and you wonder if the track would perhaps fit better on another album altogether. Aside from those few missteps, the Floacist’s third album is a highly enjoyable journey from start to finish.