GENTLEMAN JESSE: Leaving Atlanta: CD

Finally! The follow-up to Introducing! At least that was my feeling when I first got this. I wasn’t quite too sure what to expect when I put this on. I knew that I was definitely in for some good power pop, but I didn’t know how good. 2008’s Introducing was nothing less than excellent (admittedly, it took me a while to come around…). About the time I started listening to the first LP nonstop, I started reading about how a new one was coming. Then a 7” that would put most power poppers to shame came out on Douchemaster, yet it failed to leave any sort of lasting impression. With still no word of when what is now Leaving Atlanta was coming out (at least none that I could see), Hozac issued a GJ 7” that was every bit as good as the first record; it really got my hopes up for this album. So, you see, I was a bit uncertain what was gonna happen when I put this one on. I listened openly with a touch of apprehension. Sonically, this is a really lovely recording. No doubt. The instrumentation is all that I could hope for, and the vocals are on point. However, lyrically, it just hasn’t clicked with me just yet. While Introducing had a real sense of desperation, of simultaneously being both hopeful and hopeless, Leaving can come across as whiny at times. I truly believe that the apprehension I went into this album with made me look for something, but I’m still not certain whether what I found is actually there. That said, I think you should check this record out if you had a love of the first LP. It is still better than the gross majority of power pop I have heard lately, and probably better than whatever you’ve been hearing recently.

 –Vincent (Douchemaster)