Born in Boynton Beach, Florida, David Jacobson has been playing guitar since he was about 12, started a band in high school and later went on to get more involved with jazz when he attended the University of Miami. His latest accomplishment is finishing two pieces of work. The first, Come Around Again!, which contains five songs that are standard pop length about two to six minutes long. It is an EP that contains a healthy dose of Americana, soaring vocals and very good songwriting. The songs on this album are about transformation from dark to light, from sadness to love. It really feels like that as you are listening to the album. Maybe it’s the way the chords are strummed or the instruments are played but I'd say a good majority of it comes from the lyrics and his vocal delivery.
The other album entitled Escape From The Dungeon of Tears is completely different. It’s made up of ten songs most of which are live jam sessions that average somewhere around 15 minutes in length. The drums are often too loud, the guitar endlessly noodles and the songs are stripped of what Jacobson is best at which is the vocals. Each one of the songs feels like a combination of free jazz and trance music if it had no electronic elements. The production is poor but after about ten minutes your mind could travel to the netherworld as endless guitar solos bombard your ears.
But let’s get back to Come Around Again! It starts with the delightfully exuberant “Please Tell Me” which is mix of country-esque acoustic guitar and a psychedelic fog that permeates the song. It feels as if Jacobson is singing within a hazy dream and at times his voice soars as the chorus comes and he repeats the phrase “please tell me.” Overall, a great start that shows Jacobson’s ability to write a pop song that feels nostalgic, uplifting and a bit melancholy all at once. “I Don't Mind Wasting Time” sounded like the album cover looked. The banjo, manipulated harmonica that resonates like a passing comet, and the overall quality sounds like a cowboy destined to ride alone in the cosmos. “OH! To Be!!” is the shortest song on the album and also feels like a changing point in the album when the transformation starts to happen. Jacobson makes simple lyrics like “Could you love me” and “Do you love me?” sound prolific and as if he is yearning for the answer. “That’s Who I Am” is the longest song on the album and again tinkers with the idea of the lonesome cowboy and the vastness of the cosmos. It seems as if Jacobson is trying to create a balance between the two and does so quite successfully. Jacobson saves the most cathartic song for last. “Everything is So Beautiful!” contains crashing cymbals, a strong lead guitar and vocal harmonies that would happily sit next to a Fleet Foxes album; Five songs and not one dud. Not bad.
Unfortunately, I didn't have the same feelings toward Escape From The Dungeon of Tears. I actually think I would have liked the sessions a lot more if the consistency of the production was the same. Some of the songs have decent production others sound like they were recorded on a stereo. These songs can be fun to zone out to but the emotional impact that was on Come Around Again! is not apparent. Instead you are presented with experimental, free jazz that never completely coalesces. That being said there are some moments that are enjoyable. “We Can Build a Spaceship” creates dissonance as a lead guitar impressively crawls its way across the platform. “Light Up the Darkness” has a couple of nice moments while “Love it” holds a pretty intense groove.
After listening to both these albums it is clear that Jacobson has a surplus of talent. Escape From The Dungeon of Tears, which is a collection of jams that is meant to be an online diary, suffers from poor production and ideas that never come to fruition. On the other hand you have Come Around Again! which is a testament to stages of personal enlightenment which feels pure, heartfelt and has exceptional songs that I advise putting on first thing in the morning
I hope Jacobson continues to strengthen his skills that were displayed in Come Around Again!. I'm looking to forward to seeing what else this talent has up his sleeve.
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