REVIEW: Darren Jessee — Remover (LP)

Darren Jessee returns with — Remover, a timely release with a timeless ten songs aiming to help heal during the pandemic of 2020. The music is much like that of the previous work Jessee is known for, much of which comes from his background with Ben Folds Five. But his solo work and the songs on Remover comes from the more personal side of the artist mostly known for his percussive work. I found out how much more there is to this world class musician, by way of these songs that took me back over more of his solo works.


This record contains a lot to wrap your head around, or you can dismiss the heavier handed words and just kick back and enjoy some seriously good sounds. It all depends on how much you absorb, but the artist can always be the source of more-or less inspiration. “Dead Weight” gets the ball rolling and laves the inspiration up to the listener, as it did for me, and inspired I am by it and the subsequent tracks on — Remover. The inspiration continues with the beauty of “Cape Elizabeth” turning in one of the album’s best moments, with Jessee’s vocal prowess standing out.

The vocals of the previous track stay on point with “I Don’t Believe In You” playing back to back very well, as if they’re two parts to the same song, but only because of their melodic similarities. The album does have a concept going on, but it’s up to whoever gets enough into it in order to appreciate something in its entirety. “Letdown” is a song that proves for what it’s worth that Jessee’s quality comes from all the right places, and it should be a heard as much as the others on Remover, without any question to me.

While some tracks on Remover do have some Ben Folds Five flavor, it should be expected by now when hearing Darren Jessee, but that doesn’t mean all fans want the same sounds just because they like the same band. “Never Next Time” and “Free Reign” show a more serious side to the artis, making statements of his own by comparison to working in a band, and another two featured tracks on an album that peaks mid-way through and speaks volumes for itself in the process. The part where any good album should peak, and where you are reminded you are only as good as your last record.


“Along The Outskirts” pushes the boundaries of Remover, with more of the most lyrically complex efforts and overall most brilliant songwriting on the disc. This is followed-up by the lesser moving but nevertheless thoughtful sounds of “I’m Your Baby” being one of more of the intimate songs to be included. And the hit single potential of “Never Gonna Get It” can be seen as well as heard on the video produced to promote the track and it does stand out as a highlight on Remover, which closes in sort of epilog fashion with “Getting Back To It Now.”

Colin Jordan

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