Some artists can and will do it all. Jesse Eplan is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer whose passion and skill set put him on a pedestal far above common American Idol groomed talents so prevalent in pop music today. There’s no pandering in this act – his latest single “Dreams” demonstrates, instead, substantive musical value artfully integrated with a sense of the personal moving this away from any sort of clichéd meditation on the subject of dreams. Don’t let the aforementioned ballyhoo confuse you though. This isn’t a solemn affair or lacking entertainment merit. Jesse Eplan knows how to write and perform a compelling pop song capable of lodging itself in your memory. Singing, playing music, and writing songs has been Eplan’s obsession since his pre-teen years and the hours of hard work he has put into honing his gifts pays off here.
There are multitudes in this song. On one hand, there’s a very considered mood pervading the track. Everything is chiseled, reined in, and stays within the lines Eplan’s writing lays down. This is an artist concerned with getting a number of things right, but details are definitely one of them. It fortunately never makes it a cold, by-the-numbers outing. Eplan manages to suggest a strong naturalness at the same time. It primarily comes from his vocals, but the lyrical content and warm production strongly accentuate it. The song has tailored made length for its target audience, but it doesn’t feel like it ends a minute longer or earlier than it should. Eplan expends himself emotionally and the musical arrangement resolves itself in a coherent and dramatic way.
The music is dominated by unobtrusive and tasteful synthesizers, similarly employed bass providing the track with a enormous weighty pulse, and electronic “scratch” drumming. Eplan understands how to use his musical palette in such a balanced way everything doesn’t seem to fall into place as much as it does waft – the different sounds coalesce together into a dreamy, very R&B tinged groove that has subtle liveliness and solidity. Even listeners who might normally disdain the lack of live musicians will find it hard to quibble with how Eplan uses electronic instruments here. There’s nothing cold or sterile about how “Dreams” turns out.
There’s nothing remote or disengaged about his lyrics either. Longtime music devotees will surely be heartened to encounter a pop artist who puts so much obvious thought into what he wants to say and possesses the development and discernment to not overwrite. His journey through the music world has been a very personal one and Eplan reflects that in song lyrics possessing a plain spoken eloquence.
This young New York City native is continuing to gain increasing mainstream notice and creative momentum. Every second of “Dreams” sounds like the work of a performer brimming over with the desire to get his music into the ears of as many people as possible while providing him with an outlet to express the experiences and every day realities of his life in an intensely personal and entertaining way.