Merritt Jacob is a veteran of the music and radio industry. Based in Brooklyn, New York, he has worked as a recording studio professional and session guitarist for over twenty years. Late last year, Jacob released his debut studio album entitled Merritt Jacob’s Album. It’s rooted in classic rock and ‘90s pop-rock but, to its detriment, veers from these influences at times. Regardless, this album is fun, plain and simple. It’s high energy, has great guitar solos and humorous lyrics (at times).
“Dream Again” is a lively opening track that channels its ‘90s influences, especially in its chorus, which features backing vocals that yell “Hey!” This track, as well as the following “Magnificent Desolation” shine because of their ‘90s nostalgia. The latter is a power-pop jam with a great guitar solo.
“Dappled Light” is the closest Merritt Jacob’s Album gets to a ballad. The piano plays a prominent role in this one, while also featuring some beautiful acoustic and electric guitar work. It’s an album highlight.
Merritt Jacob’s Album veers from the style it established in its first half making it a little inconsistent. “Self Help,” for example, has a surf rock instrumental in the beginning and then transitions into a sort of ‘90s pop-punk song. As an isolated track, it’s enjoyable, but it seemed out of place in the middle of this album. Also, the closing track “Love is Lightning (Live)” while not unrelated stylistically to the album, did not hit as a closing track. Perhaps the fact that it’s a live performance makes it feel like a filler song, or that it had too much of a Saturday-night-at-your-local-bar-jam-band feel to it.
Either way, “Rock Jam” a tune about how New York is the greatest city in the United States, should have ended the album. It has impressive wordplay that pulls in areas from around the country and allows us to peek into the artist’s life for a moment.
Despite some songs that stylistically did not seem to fit on the record, Merritt Jacob’s Album is pure fun. It has the vivaciousness and catchy lyrics of ‘90s pop-rock with the technical musicality of classic rock. If you’re intrigued by this mix, check out his album.
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