Jacob DeBilio is an artist from California who just started playing music around three years ago. That’s not very long in music years. I’m approaching my twenty-fifth year playing music and still feel like I’m learning new things fairly regularly.
DeBilio is off to a solid start with his DIY effort entitled Face First,. The music on this album is pretty mixed ranging from folk to ambient landscapes. Suffice it to say he may still be searching for his signature sound but that is part of the process.
The production is about what you expect from typical DIY bedroom albums these days. There is still a lot to be desired in this department but the music shines through and you can hear the talent and potential.
I thought with this effort he was most successful keeping it simple but that's not something I’m used to saying. Nine times out of ten straight up strummed chords and vocals have a hard time working for me but DeBilio’s vocals and delivery were solid.
You can hear this on a clear highlight which opens up the album entitled “Love In Times Of Contest.” The lyrics have a classic love sentiment that is sincere. There is just enough melancholy to make the song really work. Additionally, the second guitar was subtle but really effective in creating the mood of the song. He sings, “Sweetheart, be true I'll never love one but you / Keep me close to your heart / Never be far apart.”
He has more success on “Cancel Christmas.” The song revolves around bass, guitar and vocals. I enjoyed the classical strumming pattern and occasional white noise. “Meander” is a song that just felt out of place. It’s a very synth based instrumental that I wasn’t expecting.
“Angel” actually reminded me of “Teen Angel” while “Money Ain't Funny” is a catchy song where he plays upon his strengths. “(This Is)(What Goes)(On In)(Your Mind)” is a one off experimental effort while “The Death Cry Of A Fly” is more or less straight up folk.
Overall, DeBilio has a lot of things going for him. Face First, is far from perfect but the songwriting and delivery is on its way.
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