Jake Clemons’ new album Eyes on the Horizon that was released on September 6th, showcases Clemons’ voice in quite a different way. When I say “voice” I mean it both literally and metaphorically. His vocals sounds more powerful than before. The soft satin voice from the first album is exchanged for a more growly, aggressive, “in your face” type of voice.
It’s also obvious that he has found his voice lyrically. The songs on the new album dissect personal and global political issues, such racism and environmental concerns in a direct and thought provoking way. Jake Clemons has a message and he seems to have found a way to deliver it effectively.
The first song of the album, Swan Song, is a good example of the new sound. Clemons isn’t so much singing as talking the first verses. The vocals and the music mirror the lyrics which are about a man trying to make peace with past mistakes and getting out of a sour relationship (?).
Know I love you, but I can’t risk what I might lose. This life ain’t mine if I die one day in your shoes.
The heat from the first song can also be found in Consumption Town (fet Tom Morello). The song was released already on May 17 as the album’s second single. It’s a political song, a wake-up call, on how much we consume and how big corporations manipulate us by creating distraction and desires and use our addiction for immediate satisfaction. Tom Morello’s blazing electric guitar cuts through the song making it sound even more angry and full of energy.
The song, Democracy, a Leonard Cohen cover, was released on March 22, as a single accompanied by a music video and a statement on the press release from Jake Clemons. Read more about the song in this separate blogpost: Democracy
Even though the song Mom Deserves Better is toned down, Clemons’ vocals are haunting as he sings about infidelity. It makes you wonder if the lyrics may indeed be referring to himself.
Although the songs I’ve mentioned are both angry, serious and sometimes somber (they either deal with world politics or more personal issues), the album isn’t all a matter of politics and state. Eyes on the Horizon, the title track along with ¡Ayuda! (when the sun goes down) and We, the People are catchy upbeat songs, bringing back hope for the future and add fun and groove to an album that otherwise risk being too heavy.
Stay tuned for a concert review. I’m going to London in October to catch his show there. Can’t wait!