Ro James has been steadily carving a niche for himself with his name being mentioned in many notable circles and magazines alike. As part of ‘The Jackets’ crew with fellow artists Luke James, Bridget Kelly and Wynter Gordon, Ro James is unabashedly straightforward, unapologetic and brazen with his craft. All of those characteristics and more are on display in his 3-part EP series Coke, Jack & Cadillacs. His influences run deep from Prince to Johnny Cash, which can all be heard throughout each piece of work. All 3 EP’s reflect a different side to James: seductive, sensual and reflective. Each trilogy is armed with an intro from one of the members of ‘The Jackets’ along with 3 tracks. The latest and last release in the trilogy is the Cadillacs EP, which just recently dropped on September 19th.
“Pledge Allegiance” is a guitar-laden love song that gives James the platform to reflect the many facets and range of his vocals. He holds strong from falsetto to tenor, never faltering. Any man pledging allegiance to his woman’s love would definitely make his mark. James surely makes good on his promise here.
“Devil’s Kiss” falls into a soulful/rock infusion with a radio friendly feel and notable guitar solo. It’s a light-hearted track that is very different from some of the other cuts that James plays with.
“A.D.I.D.A.S.” another slow jam that emanates a slow and sexy heat. But with an acronym like that (All Day I Dream About Sexin’ – at least that is what seems like the most sense), and a guitar solo at the end that is sure to bring you to your knees, we can’t at all be surprised about its allure.
“Lisa” feat. Asher Roth is no doubt homage to Prince’s “Darling Nikky.” James’ tone, the melodies and the lyrics – well, let’s just say that they would make Prince of yesteryear quite proud.
“We On” is undoubtedly another Prince influenced track. Or even D’Angelo would handle this proper. The subtle instrumentation, and his tonality do it all. Heavy on the sexual connotations and mad bravado, James makes you sweat with his innuendos and promises.
“Indiana Jones” seems to be the most subdued track on the EP. Perhaps it’s because he is talking about a love lost from the depths of his pain. The analogy to the perilous Indiana Jones is well executed with lyrics like – “Now you call me your hero, but I ain’t wasting my time…”
“XIX” has James recounting his adventures in an El Dorado Caddy that was given to him by his father. The old school vibe of the song complements his vocals and feels quite nice. It’s a great start.
“Remind Me of Me” has James letting us know that he just may have met his match in the lady that has his attention. This song is unfortunately missing the bravado and vocal ability that we have already been exposed to. Packed with a catchy singsong chorus and more talking than actual singing, it fails to go for the jugular like the rest of his tracks.
“’84 featuring Snoop Dogg” is pretty much average. It’s a good track. His vocals hold their own, and it sounds like a basic straight up R&B track with a rap feature. Snoop’s rap doesn’t really lend a hand to the song either, which is unfortunate. Lyrically it’s not a stand out, the song would have carried it’s own weight either way.