Jake Shears

Mojo (UK) - - Filter Albums - Lucy O’Brien

★★★★ Jake Shears AB­SO­LUTE/FREIDA JEAN. CD/DL/LP Scis­sor Sis­ters’ es­tranged front­man re­veals all in his solo de­but.

Af­ter sev­eral fal­low years liv­ing in LA and break­ing up with his part­ner, Jake Shears re­lo­cated to New Or­leans and now re­turns with re­newed en­ergy. Just as well, because Scis­sor Sis­ters’ last al­bum, Magic Hour (2012), sounded like mu­sic made by com­mit­tee. Shears heads in a new bluesy direc­tion on a de­but recorded with a live band (in­clud­ing mem­bers of My Morn­ing Jacket) in Louisville, Ken­tucky, and pro­duced by Kevin Rat­ter­man (MMJ and Ray LaMon­tagne), the king of smoky yet spacey sounds. There are nods to Scis­sor Sis­ters with some honky-tonk disco and ref­er­ences to the demi-monde. But there are also ex­tra­or­di­nary tracks of looped beats and grainy heart­break. The Bruiser, for in­stance, and Ev­ery­thing I’ll Ever Need, where Shears sings, vul­ner­a­ble and lost: “I sleep with pil­lows piled around me like a cloud.” What a grace­ful im­age. Bless.

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