Previous singles, such as What Is Love? and Do What You Gotta Do, have perfectly displayed Dejhare’s ability to make music that straddles the worlds of underground clubland cool and mainstream chart accessibility. Plead The Fifth, her latest five-track offering, continues that journey to merge worlds but it is much more than just a collection of songs.
Dejhare uses her music to connect with the listener, weaving thoughts and dreams, personal experience and the wisdom of everyday life through some of the most infectious music to make her audience feel at one with her. For all its high-energy sound, there is plenty going on here lyrically, plenty to relate to. The overall message is one that seeks to absolve us, as individuals, of the weight of judgement, both judgment of our own actions and that of others. Not that we don’t have to take responsibility for our actions but that perhaps we should stop living our lives under such intense scrutiny, stop worrying about every possible consequence of every course of action that we chose. We need to get out of our own way, not to mention that of others.
But even if you are here more for the music than the message it carries, there is lots to love. The opening salvo, Take Five, might lean into the contemporary dance-pop sound but those who fully taping what is going on here will find that they are faced with something a lot more meaningful and that the music is the delivery system for poignant points of debate about life and society in general. Skeletons, which follows, might take the sound to even greater heights, but it also takes the lyrical message to even more philosophical depths. It might be safe to say that Dejhare has a signature sound but she is also happy to push some boundaries within that, explore beyond what the audience might be expecting. Perception is a great example of this, a slow-burning track that starts in the almost balladic territory before the growing and growling beat pushes it into more groovesome territory. But even then, the song ebbs and flows with tasteful dynamics as it builds towards its final crescendo.
Not Alone and the title track sees this sonic journey home, again examples of what happens when contemporary music decides that it needs to be more about first impressions, although it makes great ones, and imbues its lyrics with meaning, relevance and longevity. Long after fleeting fashion trends have swept most music away to be replaced by the next trend, you will still be returning to Dejhare’s music for the deeper meaning and lyrical longevity.