Monday, August 27, 2012

Class of 2012: Gentleman Jesse - Leaving Atlanta

Anyone already familiar with Gentleman Jesse's previous work knows what to expect from the man (and his men), and Leaving Atlanta does not stray very far from the formula.  However, a few welcome sounds find their way into this release, including a harmonica (very briefly) and an organ (used throughout).

The aforementioned harmonica leads the way on opener "Eat Me Alive," the first of a bunch of very good, catchy songs.  "Take It Easy On Me" begins a little unexpectedly - with an acoustic guitar and an organ.  The organ adds another layer and works especially well on this and on the second half's "Covered Up My Tracks." 

The triplet of "What Did I Do," "You Give Me Shivers," and "Careful What You Wish For" find Gentleman Jesse at their best.  Good luck trying not to sing along or tap your feet.  Moreover, the middle track, with its familiar melody, could be from a bygone era (as could the previously mentioned "Covered Up My Tracks").

As the organ adds another dimension to some of Leaving Atlanta's tracks, backing vocals have a similar impact throughout.  They take a song like "I'm A Mess" to another level of catchiness.  In this particular instance, it has a call-and-response feel to it.

When the 37 minutes of this album wind down, it wouldn't be a bad idea to play it again.  While there's nothing groundbreaking on this record, it's clear to see that Gentleman Jesse has played to his strengths and delivered another strong batch of songs.

Grade: B+  (89.3%)

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