Firebreak is a collection of original songs written and performed by Jesse Daniel Edwards or as he simply refers to himself JDE. His unique and eclectic style had a humble start via a song written about his mother's meatloaf. This collection of 15 originals songs gives the listener a good feel for his ten years of songwriting and touring in an old VW Van.
Each of the 15 songs on the album seems to have a life and flavor of their own. One of the more pop type songs, “Where Did You Run to” was my favorite of the set. It was a catchy showcase of the writing talents of JDE. The lyrics were easy to follow and I found myself singing along with the lighthearted tune. It honestly reminded me of a more masculine version of a Katy Perry hit.
“Black Cat” was a swanky, cute song but just a bit of an odd tune. The musical arrangement was quirky, and reminded me a bit of the type of tune one might hear on a children's television show. It was part 19of the ‘50s sock hop themed with the signature creative twist in the lyrics.
With each song the listener gets something slightly different, with “Heartbeats” there is a bit more of a darker tone and less pop hooks. This song was the classic rock throw back, a solid mix of new and old. The musical arrangement was retro but the lyrics were more modern. The song touches on the very real feeling of being alone even with another person. “Is It True” continued down a similar path with a retro feel to the days of the classic tale of boy chasing girl. “Fire in the Rain” also had a similar feel with the darker music combined with interesting lyrics.
Just when one thinks they have JDE figured out, a track like “Moonshine” pops up. This is a feel good, swing dancing single that brings you right back to that big band feel. A fun and expected tune for this set. The swag is deep on this song just as the beat is solid. A real swooner is born from this tune. As a follow up, “New York Lullaby” continues the big band feel. The use of the upright base adds a great flash to this song.
“Richest Man” went right back to the free-love feel of the retro lyrics. The lyrics were just a little pop centered, but the theme was a throw back to the ‘60s. It was all about riches not being measured in monetary value. The combination of the harmonica and electric guitar gave this song a special feel.
This is a cool album that does a solid job of highlighting a lifetime of songwriting. One can almost map out the way in which the songs change and progress. Even as the themes change, the constant is a true talent for songwriting. The lyrics are all very unique and creative. Whether they swing to the likes of a big band or just backed by a harmonica, the lyrics are the star of the show.
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