Music Review: Shaun Jacobs – Love Can

February 13, 2014

By BRUCE DENNILL

 

There’s no idiomatic phrase, using the same imagery anyway, to describe the process of coming out from “under the radar”, but that is what Johannesburg-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Shaun Jacobs is currently doing. That it has take as long as it has – this is his second solo album, after a couple of top-notch releases with previous band Harbourlight – is a poor reflection on the melodic rock music lovers in his market catchment area, as Jacobs is, technically, a better musician than 90% of his peers and, given that he takes responsibility for his own production as well, his sound is exactly what he had in mind.

Love Can doesn’t have any real filler, though not everything is of the strong, catchy single quality of the title track; When The Bells Ring, End Of The Road (the collection’s poppiest offering); the bluesy stomp of Like Fire and the album’s lighters-aloft moment, the ballad Little Things You Don’t Say.

Notable characteristics of Jacobs’ sound include a pure, confident falsetto, often balanced with a rich, resonant cello line (which stops the vocals overwhelming the melodies or becoming too strident) and beautiful layered harmonies, supported by intricate guitar work.

Jacobs has always been good. Love Can is evidence that he’s getting better.

  1. Love Can                                                              7.5
  2. When The Bells Ring                                            8.0
  3. Little Things You Don’t Say                                  8.0
  4. Crystal Waters                                                      6.25
  5. End Of The Road                                                  7.5
  6. Like Fire                                                                7.0
  7. Where I Am Yours                                                6.5
  8. Slipping Away                                                       7.0
  9. Speak                                                                    6.25
  10. Drift Away                                                              6.5
  11. Still Got You                                                           7.0

Total Rating: 7.045

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