Darren Jessee serves up 2020 with his latest full-length album release – Remover, and it strips back all the rough edges to be heard if you’re looking for something remarkably soothing or a fan and already expecting it. The Ben Folds Five drummer keeps to his usual speed and let’s another 10 songs speak for themselves about the subjects they cover, which include and assortment of concerns. The melancholy spirit of the album is what stands out the most but if you like Jesee’s music it is something to be expected and the point is it delivers on maximum levels for casual and formal fans of his work.
Remover starts and ends slow, but it is all about the content in between that makes it, the album is very relaxing, also something Jessee is good for as well and it plays like a collections of songs about removing various things from life’s picture. “Dead Weight” is the first track, and it’s just easy to assume anyone can lose some dead weight, but this is about carrying someone’s around. The lyrics are where Jessee wins with flying colors, as these songs really manage to cut through the times and provide some reflection.
“Cape Elizabeth” is broodingly magnificent, especially once I got into it and had to play it a few more times to appreciate the beauty of this great tune that freezes time for a few moments. “I don’t Believe In You” is a soft acoustic ballad with a much more somber message about what and what not to remove, and it is another spine chilling track. “Letdown” comes in next with an obvious thing to remove but a hard one, and this is where the tempo moves up a satisfying notch with another interestingly cool and compelling Daren Jessee song.
“Never Next Time” is another acoustic ballad, but this one more akin to modern day folk song, complete with string arrangement and some more thoughtful lyrics. The same goes for “Free Reign” which turns out to be another little slice of perfection with some songwriting to be classed with only the greats. And the album keeps a consistency rate with the best of anything released in the last fifteen years of mainstream alternative rock. “Along The Outskirts” also has as much to write home about as the others on Remover, with a dreamy downhome tale worth hearing over and over.
The vocals on “I’m Your Baby” need little to no musical backing, so it winds up one of the softest tracks on this extremely good LP, but it also seems to be the most personally sourced point on the disc. But there’s more to it and with a lyric video helping “Never Gonna Get It,” lyrically speak for itself with a pleasing clip to support it. And it all comes back around full circle on the closing cut “Getting Back To It Now” where the journey never subsides. I find every track on Remover to be of substantial significance, and what more can anyone ask for.
by Bethany Page