Jacob Collier: Djesse Vol 4 review – mind-melting final instalment of vast six-year project

The British musical prodigy pulls together disparate genres, guests and even his audiences on the last leg of this wild ride

Over the past six years, the 29-year-old musical prodigy Jacob Collier has embarked on a gargantuan task. In his Djesse project he has sought to encompass his musical makeup – from orchestral composition on Vol 1 to folk songwriting on Vol 2 and pop on Vol 3. Now completing the quartet, Vol 4 is a mind-melting amalgamation: 16 tracks featuring genres including folk balladry, glittering pop, doom metal, rap and samba, as well as the recorded voices of more than 100,000 audience members who have come to watch his world tours.

It’s an overwhelming prospect, with a huge list of collaborators and densely layered sounds primed to make even the most committed listeners panic. Yet, if you can endure the chaos, there is a radical, raucous joy to Collier’s boundless imagination. Opener 100,000 Voices veers from choral euphoria to the 1975-style indie pop, all anchored in Collier’s soaring voice, while Bridge Over Troubled Water, featuring Tori Kelly and John Legend, finds moving gospel harmony in the Simon and Garfunkel standard, and Box of Stars somehow blends thumping trap bass with electro-prog. A thesis would be required to do Djesse justice, but it is ultimately an invigorating and irrepressible record, unlike anything else you are likely to hear.

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