Saint Jaimz – Absent Without Love


“Absent Without Love” is a reminder of what quality modern R&B can still sound like when you bring together a classic sound with a totally modern take on the form. Jaimz has the sort of confidence you can’t teach; one can only assume that the challenges of performing pale when you are a nearly two decade vet of the United States Armed Forces. It’s born of immense talent as well and the skill set he possesses comes immediately across with the vocals and how they play off against the song’s musical arrangement. Jaimz doesn’t embrace formula as readily as other performers, but he does write about relatable subject matter in a way accessible for all listeners. It’s all framed with spot on production that never strains for effect and accentuates the strengths of the song’s groove. Saint Jaimz’s “Absent Without Love” is one of the finest releases yet in 2018 from the R&B/soul genre and primes Jaimz for quite a successful run from this point forward.

One of the musical elements of the song leaping out at me immediately is the sparkling, occasionally crackling acoustic guitar lines threading through the track. It plays off particularly well against the percussion and, even if there are post-production touches and perhaps some electronic instrumentation working through the song, “Absent Without Love” has an appealing live veneer and definitely seems geared towards live performances. The song goes on a little longer than you might expect, but it never taxes your patience and you find yourself wanting more by the time “Absent Without Love” draws to its conclusion. There’s a deeply intimate sound surrounding this track and the atmospheric way the vocal is mixed into the recording underlines that quality about the recording. It is apparent with each new listen that “Absent Without Love” is a track that Saint Jaimz and his musical collaborators largely fleshed out, if not completely, before ever entering the recording studio.

The lyrical content isn’t ostentatious in anyway, but it definitely reveals a higher intelligence than songwriters in this vein typically bring to bear and the personal flavor of the songwriting, furthermore, is impossible to ignore. The lyrics never lay any unwieldy burdens on the track; instead, both the words and Jaimz’s singing act as they should, another instrument in the song’s musical arsenal, and stay in dramatic balance with the arrangement at all times. The words, furthermore, have a percussive quality listeners will welcome. There’s nothing strident here and the immense style clearly poured into this piece never comes at the expense of its substance. Life Songs is sure to be an all around winner if it’s packed with tunes the quality of “Absent Without Love” and there’s no question it does. This United States Army veteran has discovered another career in music by applying the same discipline that led him to a successful military career – passion and commitment collide in every second of “Absent Without Love” and the outcome from that is notable.


Sebastian Cole