Musiq Soulchild Croons Conversation Pieces On Juslisen

Neo-soul singer says follow-up has vibe similar to 2000's Aijuswanaseing.

The title of Musiq Soulchild's new album, Juslisen, just makes sense, the neo-soul singer says.

"[My first album was] Aijuswanaseing, and this is the sequel to it. If you tell somebody you just wanna sing, I guess the next thing would be to say, 'So, can you just listen?' "

The harmonic chatterbox can be caught vocalizing his heartstring-tugging torment over guitar string plucks on "Halfcrazy," the first single from Juslisen (May 7). In the song, Musiq is having regrets about being intimate with a platonic friend.

" 'Halfcrazy' is a true-to-life-inspired song," he said. "It's not autobiographical per say, but it stems from a real-life experience that I have been through, ironically at the time I was writing the song. It's another conversation piece. Me and my writing partner, Carvin [Haggins], we write songs and it's interesting how they make for good conversation pieces. I look back at them and I'm not leaning toward either side [in the music]. I just like to present a scenario. I like to present a particular circumstance. It's up to you to draw your own outcome."

If you hear the album and conclude that the 24-year-old tried to create continuity between both of his albums, you'll be on the money. He describes "Newness" as the day after "Girl Next Door" and the "club joint" "Caught Up" as the sequel to "Seventeen." "Stoplayin" is a continuation of "Just Friends (Sunny)," and like he did with his hit "Love," he sings about the intangible on "Time."

"I use that idea as a pivot and standpoint to work from," he explained. "I didn't want to stray too far from what people were used to so far. I wanted to give them a little bit of what was and try to introduce what else there is."

That "what else" is him taking things a step further and broaching other topics such as his parents/biggest fans on "Motherfather." But the Philadelphia native said some people have continued to reminisce about Aijuswanaseing on another track.

"Funny enough, though, the people that heard most of the songs, they feel that this other song is a lot like 'Love,' and the name of that song is 'Dontchange.' It just tells the story of unconditional love. It's a song that reassures commitments and kind of pacifies insecurities that some may have in their relationship. It's basically saying, 'Because I love you, no matter what happens ... that I would still love you because that's how I feel for you now. All that I ask is that you love me in return.' "

Juslisen track listing, according to Def Soul/Def Jam:

  • "Scratch" introlude

  • "Newness"

  • "Caught Up" featuring Aaries

  • "Stoplayin"

  • "Religious"

  • "Babygirl"

  • "Halfcrazy"

  • "Time"

  • "Future"

  • "Intermission: Juslisen"

  • "Realove"

  • "Onenight"

  • "Previouscats"

  • "Solong"

  • "Bestfriend" introducing Carol Riddick

  • "Dontchange"

  • "Motherfather"

  • "Something"

  • "Ifiwouldaknew" (remix)