The new Jaco album — Dose, contains exactly that, a major dose of power pop medicine for the soul to help heal during the 2020 pandemic. The songs tend to reflect the times but there is no aggro reaction, just an acknowledgement of current affairs, crossed with socio-political subject matter. That is what power pop is usually made of, love songs that pertain to the world without looking too far back. The ability to flow evenly between the elements is something Jaco, aka, Jake Waitzman, is the most remarkable thing I noticed throughout the first spin is this very cool album.
A few more spins and I was album to give an honest opinion even though I had never heard of Jaco, that he is gifted songwriter and player. The album kicks off with the melancholy “Space Outer” space throttling it gently into orbit with a smooth but complex keyboard and vocal dominated number. It really-only took one spin of this track, but a few more and it rates up there for me with the best moments on Dose. In fact, the thought crossed my mind that if anyone can come up with just a few songs like this, they are going places.
The keyboard work intrigues for more, but the second track “Weigh You” features more guitar and more prominently vocals instead. The contrast is a welcomed combination, but it also had me wondering where Jaco would go next, because they are both so wildly different but play together so well. “Fabergé” answers back with the perfectly mixed range of the previous cuts, and so far, it is another winner you can’t argue with the whole result of. If it isn’t something you love at this point it isn’t going to sink by now, but I can say it is terrific for my speed.
“Bluebird’ hits the spot and it is another track right up my alley, with some fantastic melodies to keep the blood pumping. I don’t see how anyone could not like this choice piece of music and vocals. And the peak of the collection is more than like where “Sign Of A Struggle” comes in and the album goes down the other side with nothing but more brilliant tracks. “Missing Man” also continues the peak before headed down the other side of the song path, with track tat bubbles along so nicely you want to hear it again.
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“In The Sea” is most likely my favorite pick from Dose, which is a top shelf album so far in 2020. I like how his voice resonates mostly on this one, and the lyrics as well, which are a thing of beauty. “Somebody Told Me” is another high moment on the album for Jaco, with another gloriously mellow effort. And the album sails into the sunset with the baritone wonderment of “Things In A Dream” with its carefree spirit, and “Grow Up Together” with its perfect outro placement. These are all superb songs by an artist I am glad to finally know about.