Sad to the bone

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS - JIM CAR­ROLL

play­ing with no-hoper rock bands and writ­ing songs for pop star never-gonna-bes. Af­ter a painful re­la­tion­ship break-up, an equally painful bike ac­ci­dent and his mother’s can­cer di­ag­no­sis, Jesso de­cided it was time for some­thing else.

That some­thing else meant putting him­self in the frame and his heart and soul on the line to let his songs per­co­late in the world with­out some­one else mak­ing a hames of them or tak­ing the glory. As you lis­ten to Goon, you won­der what the heck Jesso was do­ing keep­ing this par­tic­u­lar tal­ent un­der wraps for so long.

There may be ten­der lov­ing care in the pro­duc­tion depart­ment pro­vided by Chet “JR” White, ex of Girls, The Black Keys’ Pa­trick Car­ney, the New Pornog­ra­phers’ John Collins and Ariel Recht­shaid, who has worked with acts from Vam­pire Week­end to Madonna, but Jesso’s the one who’s do­ing all the real spade­work. The style is straight and sim­ple, with Jesso’s voice, de­lib­er­ately low-key pi­ano play­ing and su­perb lyri­cal prow­ess pro­vid­ing all the em­bel­lish­ment and fire­works.

Hol­ly­wood is a blaz­ing stand­out, a tale of a dreamer get­ting singed by the big bright lights, but it’s not the only gem on Goon. There’s much to hug tight to on How Could You Babe, the lovelorn Just A Dream and the ap­peal­ing Can’t Stop Think­ing About You.

An al­bum of soul-bar­ing ro­mance and quiet tri­umph from a sig­nif­i­cant new tal­ent who knows all about the power of sad songs. to­bi­as­jes­sojr.com

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