Check Out the Album Of The Year

An album review of WE ARE by Jon Batiste.


Jon Batiste

WE ARE album cover.

The Recording Academy’s idea of an album of the year at this year’s Grammys was a pretty controversial win, according to social media. Many, of course, wanted their favorite artists and albums to win, including me. Despite this, I decided to give the album “WE ARE” by Jon Batiste a try to see if the Recording Academy has made the correct choice.

Track One: WE ARE

Track one of WE ARE with the name WE ARE is a great opener. The instrumental in the back as well as the choir (I believe) was such an amazing touch. The song is very strong, ranging from his lyrics to his voice. It draws me into wanting to actually listen to the whole album.


TELL THE TRUTH is my favorite so far, I am obsessed. The instrumental and background singers he incorporates always adds the perfect touch. The way his voice is so versatile from track one to two is insane, and I really love when artists don’t always have the same sound.

Track Three: CRY

CRY has a new sound, almost sounds country (I’m sorry Jon, I still like it.) CRY has a slower beat than the first two tracks, but again, I do really like this song.

Track Four: I NEED YOU

I NEED YOU, honestly, made me want to get up and just dance. The song is a pop song with hip hop incorporated as well. It reminds me of past generations, something you would hear in older movies while the characters are dancing happily. He also starts rapping suddenly, and I really enjoy the mix of the two.


WHATCHUTALKINBOUT is not my favorite, honestly. The majority of this song is fast rap which he is very good at especially with the cool beat behind it makes it really flow. Even if I don’t personally enjoy the song, I really like the bridge of the song. 

Track Six: BOY HOOD

BOY HOOD is different from any other song on the album (so far) This song seems more modern, and I really enjoy his voice in this song. The chorus is my favorite part of the song, I really like the vibe. I also enjoy the bridge with the piano in the back. This is something I would put into a “favorites playlist” and listen to daily. 

Track Seven: MOVEMENT 11′

MOVEMENT 11′  was just an interlude. I enjoyed the piano solo though in the beginning, with eventually the buildup of what sounds like other instruments.

Track Eight: ADULTHOOD

ADULTHOOD has a newer vibe where his voice and the beat is much calmer. I actually love his voice in this song so much, it is so peaceful. I really love the background vocals and how he also talks in his songs and doesn’t just sing, it makes the song much more interesting.  I would as well add this to a “favorites playlist” because I adore the vibes.

Track Nine: MAVIS

MAVIS is an interlude again, he is talking to Mavis Staples on the phone. He was really inspired by her words and believed she deserved to be on the song because he wanted to share it with others because of how privileged he is to be her friend.

Track Ten: FREEDOM

FREEDOMs beat is so amazing, and I am absolutely obsessed with it. The background instrumentals on this song are also top-tier. Jon always has such a versatile voice in each of his songs, and that is something I really enjoy about FREEDOM.

Track Eleven: SHOW ME THE WAY

SHOW ME THE WAY has a different vibe than the rest of the album. The beat of this song is so beautiful and his voice sounds so beautiful in this song. The background vocals of Zadie Smith really fit within the song. 

Track Twelve: SING

SING feels like the closing music of a coming to age movie. The buildup of the chorus is so nice, and you would imagine all characters coming together during the chorus and celebrating. It’s such a beautiful ending song.

Track Thirteen: UNTIL

UNTIL is the last track, and it is an interlude, again. Something about the interlude makes me emotional, and I think it’s because of the background music, again feels like an ending of a coming-of-age movie.

Overall, I do believe WE ARE is a Grammy award-winning album.

It is so versatile ranging from the lyrics to the beat. You hear a 90s vibe in one song, and you then get a more modern vibe in the other.  The Recording Academy did a great job on this one, and I don’t understand the point of social media being so pressed about this win. This win is well deserved.