Caleb Jacobson is a singer/songwriter from Madison, WI who just released an EP entitled Bend. According to Jacobson, “The album is a story from start to finish. It speaks of my personal life and what I believe about God.” While this could be a subject that some may find unappealing Jacobson never sounds preachy throughout the album.
Instead his convictions feel heartfelt and are based on personal experiences within his life. When Jacobson initially started working on Bend he realized that in order to get the sound he wanted he would need to start doing some recruiting. He assembled quite an ensemble which include Christian Mcarthur (drums), Christian Harger (bass), William Dernell (electric guitar) Jonathan Olson (acoustic guitar) and Evan Sieling who played a little bit of everything. Jacobson is a good songwriter and even though the overall sound isn't really my cup of tea you can't help but appreciate the craftsmanship as well as the quality recordings.
The album starts with guitar picking and Jacobson’s voice on the title track “Bend.” It’s a track of nostalgic melancholy that morphs in a triumphant solace. It’s easy to go overboard with this formula where it’s just too much and sounds too grandiose but luckily Jacobson doesn't over do it. The second song “Be Thou My Vision (Be My Eyes)” is more of an upbeat song you might hear at Sunday Worship. I enjoyed the subtle organ, solid guitar work and booming chorus. “Go & Tell” is the song most likely to find airtime in my opinion. It sounds like it could be played on a pop station that spins the commercial hits. The album ends with “Bend (reprise)” which takes the same guitar riff he started with but this time around smothers his voice in reverb as he sings “Hallelujah.”
This music fits a certain niche and is not for everyone. Sometimes the musical ideas seem a bit rehashed from similar types of bands but overall Jacobson’s songwriting and passion are strong enough for the songs to have an effect even if you aren't into the whole god thing.
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