Jeremy Jay unleashes his poptastical, yet moody-self on his new album, Slow Dance, due out March 24th. Be prepared to be swayed and hynoptized softly with his songs; they are a collection of vintage, 80s-inspired melodies based on a winter theme. Unfortunately, the end result sounds like it went into frequent hibernation. In other words, some songs fell short of amazing and stayed in a tiresome zone.
The first track, “We Were There” electronically comes out of the speakers in all its synthesizing glory. In a whiny voice, Jeremy Jay tells a story of somebody pursuing a “calling card.” This can be a literal interpretation but its catchy melody grows with every guitar strum.
“In This Lonely Town,” maintains a slow, steady pace. Dare I say it, but the Cure seems to influence this young man’s sound from the tone of his voice, to the arrangement of his music. Even a bit of Morrissey sprinkled in, but who’s keeping track?
Without hearing the song and just reading the lyrics, “Gallop” sounds like a silly, childish forgotten nursery rhyme. However, Jay creates a dreary tune that reacts more to the lyrics rather than allowing the song to take unexpected twists and turns based on the melody. It may be asking for too much, but the monotonous beat does not do this track any favors. “Canter Canter” has the same mentality (canter literally means an easy gallop) but it has an electronic kick, making it a tiny bit more interesting than its galloping predecessor.
The song sounds funny, but the title track “Slow Dance” has a hypnotic quality to it. The trance-like energy does a great job of slowing things down a bit. Also, the song picks up slightly towards the end as the guitar and synthesizers color it up. On the contrary, “Slow Dance 2” captures an old-school ballroom sway.
This album conjures up images of winter for various reasons: the album was recorded during that time and the obvious lyrics and the song titles have similar seasonal themes. This could explain the tone-downed, chill approach to this album. For example, “Winter Wonder” pretty much sums it up and Jay’s voice is as warm and inviting as that fireplace he sings about. However, his soothing chops could be sleep-inducing.
Thankfully, Jay wakes up his inner rock star with the closing song, “Where Could We Go Tonight?” This mid-tempo tune carries with it some instrumental energy as Nick Pahl kills on the synthesizer and the guitar kicks it up a notch. However, do not except any Led Zeppelin-esque finale here, as the fragile singer goes gentle into that good night. Listen carefully to Jeremy Jay, man who rocks softly and sleepily, one track at a time.