Jesse Thomas – War Dancer

This is a hard album to shake.  It just sticks with the listener.  Jesse’s voice is a wonderful mix of raspy and cute.  We’re sorry if those are insulting terms because we mean them in the most positive sense.  The best part about the album is that the songs carry with them a variety of emotions, yet they all highlight Jesse’s stunning vocals.  While the genre is most generally acoustic, she’s got influences mainly from pop and country.

The first track on the album has a little sass.  It’s called “Better Geography” and essentially argues that the only reason she lost the love interest in the song was because the person moved away.  “All she has on me is better geography… is that enough?”  It is an intriguing and powerful message about the way we relate to one another, especially in relationships.

Jesse’s song “Oh My Dear,” according to her YouTube page, is about “missed connections.”  It’s a gorgeous acoustic song and perhaps the best on the album.  So many people can relate to that moment of thinking, “what if?” about a random.  “What have you done?  You took my heart and you run.  Damn you and my missed connection.  You’re walking in the wrong direction.”  It’s an emotional and frankly typical “singer songwriter” salvo, but we mean that in a good way.

“Fire,” the track on the album most likely to be a hit single, has a beautiful romantic vibe.  The video for the track gives the lyrics which initially seem simple, but have a second level to them.  “We could be fire.”  There’s a real possibility in a budding relationship.  There’s so much promise and passion.  They lay awake, dreaming.  The song is readymade for the itunes charts.

Where “Already Mine” and “Back to Fighting” have some grit to them, it’s the soft sweetness of “Madeline” that highlights Jesse Thomas at her best.  It’s a tough call whether this track or “Oh My Dear” is the best on the album.  “Madeline” has a beautiful pop piano backing to it and is mixed in such a way that it perfectly accents Jesse’s vocals.   The song itself is a love-filled plea for someone to return… again beautiful, human, and the music matches the words well.

This album has a good bit of variety and there are some points that are a bit overproduced, but the reality is that Jesse Thomas has the vocals to sing with the best.  We’re also seeing and hearing the emergence of a brilliant writer who bares her soul in obvious ways.  Her ability to write music that fits her own lyrics will ensure her place among singer songwriters for some time.

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