Raphael Saadiq‘s latest album Jimmy Lee is finally upon us and it’s possibly one of the most thought-provoking records released this year. The set primarily deals with addiction, looking at the serious subject matter through the eyes of both the addict and the loved ones of the addicted. Of course, he prepared us for what was to come with the set’s lead single “Something Keeps Calling.” It’s only fitting, then, that the track is the first visual to be made from the set.
Raphael is ever-present throughout the clip, but its focus is on a man who roams the streets in a haze while appearing to be in the throes of addiction. The way that the clip is shot, the viewer is never really sure what’s actually happening and what could be only occurring in the man’s mind. We see him meeting up with a woman who might be his girlfriend or sitting on benches as he stares out into the street. But then we also see him strolling with Raphael while bopping along to the sway of the track, running frantically from an unseen aggressor or walking aimlessly through the night. Perhaps this unsure grasp on reality and what exactly is going down might be the point of it all, as it does reflect the unease and uncertainty expressed through the song’s lyrics.
The subject matter of Jimmy Lee is something hard for any artist to confront. But leave it to Raphael Saadiq to continue to do so in such a way that provides a bit of understanding and dignity to people who often don’t receive it. Check out the video for “Something Keeps Calling” below.