Darren Jessee Releases “Remover” LP
Darren Jessee hits the nerves on – Remover, with the Ben Folds Five drummer releasing an album it is hard not to be enthused about once you hear. I can’t always be sure about something until I’ve heard it enough to not either glow about it or pass on it altogether, but it only took one spin though on the headphones to convince me this album contends with any for one of the top shelf releases of 2020 so far. And with so many already knowing how good Jessee is, these songs deserve describing as much as they do praise.
Kicking off with the mesmerizing realities to be heard on “Dead Weight” could not be a better way to start, with a straight-forward opening about the current times and what we see around us at the street level. Jessee already had me before the first song was over, and the rest is a gravy train until the end, with “Cape Elizabeth” earning the earliest top marks. The magic Jessee spins throughout the album can be exemplified from song to song with each one succeeding on its own merit, regardless of his background and other solo work in his respected catalog.
What more can I say when “I Don’t Believe In You” speaks for itself and all there is left to do is recommend it, and emphasize this being where the voice of Jessee really takes over and captivates the soul with his pitch perfect vocal tones. If not a fan, you most likely will be after hearing the songs on the Remover album. “Letdown” is yet another extremely satisfying example of what the album and the artist are dependable so for on a song with lyrics about great expectations not being what they used to be in the future where now are.
“Never Next Time” is an exquisite track about the sorrows of uncertainty, tracked by the lonely satellite of life, as depicted by Jessee in what clearly comes from his own experience at the time of writing, as all these tracks manage to compel on the same level, with no exceptions to that rule. And “Free Reign” is the track getting the most spins since first hearing the Remover album, with the mood getting through the most for what is simply another excellent tune that carries a plethora of fantastic melodies and I am inclined to think that is why.
The production values on Remover maintain the standard level in which Jessee always delivers, and particularly, the flawlessly even mix is where that can be mostly heard. “Along The Outskirts” is a track where all is tested and Jessee gets flying colors out of it for the songwriting craft alone. “I’m Your Baby” is the most somber note reached but also where he gets the most mileage in capturing attention, along with the first single “Never Gonna Get It” which play marvelously well together before the finale kicks in. “Getting Back To It Now” brings the album to an end but not without craving for more of what it has to offer bucketloads of.