Album Review :
Jake Smith - Real

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Artist: Jake Smith
Album: Real
Label: Rocketown Records
Release Date: July 31, 2007
Review by: Eric Pettersson

Tracklist:
1. Get Up
2. This Is Certain
3. What I Plan to Do
4. Breakdown
5. These Things
6. Real Love
7. Can’t Save Your Soul
8. I Don’t Know
9. Shady (Crazy)
10. Make Me Move
11. Run
12. Outtro

Jake Smith is a man of versatile appeal. His cozy singer-songwriter tunes could easily travel from an independent coffeeshop to a larger radio-based prime-time-television-watching type audience. Smooth and soulful, his songs usually rest in a relaxed tempo with paino and heartfelt guitar work. The faster upbeat tracks like “Breakdown” sound more along the lines of a polished pop-rock act on a major label, but these are used sparingly, and the majority of his sound fuses a very bluesy groove with gentle folk rock. “Get Up,” as well as some others, include rapped vocals on the verses, adding a sound very reminiscent of Mat Kearney or Paul Wright. Based on the rest of the album, Jake’s other influences probably include Maroon 5, although his bio includes references to being a big fan of artists as varied as Ray Charles and Bush. And I suppose his coming from New Orleans could have had a hand in his highly jazzy sound. Regardless of whatever the source of his music style is, this does not change the fact that this remains an intelligent and enjoyable album that is both accessible and original, a combo that sometimes seems rather hard to pull off these days.

7/10

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