After the Birmingham-based artist Jake Waitzman’s first release under the Jaco banner, 2019’s You Know, Jaco, an artist in which any indie power pop and rock lover can relate to in these uncertain times, releases music on his new album – Dose. And it is dreamy, mellow, and heartfelt but it is also edgy, creative, and downright contagious. Jaco sheds all his darkness into a lighter but more illustrious territory with a progressive but playful album that reminds of all the good things artists like David Bowie made sure to leave an impression for. The bad news is, there is none.
This album comes in at a time when the soothing sound of it could not be more welcome for anyone who appreciates good pop songwriting. The first thing Jaco manages to do is captivate with a spacy pop admix that you can’t walk away from once it starts. The instant intrigue earned on “Outer Space” instantly establishes that, and you are grooving. The opening cut just runs smoothly across the guitar and vocal spectrum and plays like a hypnotic hit of the early 80s that would not be mistaken for bands like The Cars or anyone of that particular-ilk.
“Weigh You” follows up with a decent middle of the road radio-friendly pop tune with all the right ingredients and some more excellent guitar work. There is no big difference in the tempo of the first two tracks, but things really kick into gear and get moving on “Fabergé” with a real Bowie influence attached. The same happens to be the case on “Bluebird,” only with a more original song and thus far the best as the album goes upon first listen. This little ballad has everything Jaco has to offer as a songwriter and performer, it is just so sweet it’s flawless.
The tempo picks back up on “Sign Of A Struggle” and after looking at the debates and reflecting on this track over the week, it is one way Dose reminds me of the times it is released in. I can’t be sure how that works because it has to be ahead of its time but maybe they were thinking ahead because it is not the only point on the album where that happens. “Missing Man” picks up even more, and Jaco nails an undeniably awesome tune, and once again there are now flaws in sight on this record.
“The Sea” continues to prove it rocks even more than meets the ear once the album starts. This has a great R.E.M. vibe to it with a new and improved take on that sound, and the lyrics here really impress the most. “Somebody Told Me,” “Things In A Dream” and “Grow Up Together” all keep up in the energy and songwriting departments, making for a full 100% recommended release. This album is killer if you like excellent soft rock and power pop music without any angst but with a positive thread about the things we love not things we hate.
by Amanda Beeler