Joey Jive is a new solo songwriter from England. His music is best described as New Wave/ Pop. Few bands are 100% original nowadays; at least Joey Jive is fun and easy to listen to. And like everything else, it comes down to what your preferences are. Joey Jive is probably an acquired taste, which I can understand, and as much as I hate pushing a band on someone, Joey seems to have a lot going for him on this release and I think many people will find a lot to appreciate about it.
The songs on Joey Jive’s self-titled album are strange, eclectic, and progressive, but for all of its unfamiliar parts, everything is centered with great pop-centric melodies. In fact Joey’s bread-and-butter is his ability to take modern indie rock and fuse it with traditional new-wave and even punk sounds.
The guitars and vocals twang with classic new-wave motifs, but for the most part, Joey seems more interested in trying out new sounds or vocal modulations. The album begins with “Summer Days” and “Boardwalk.” These first two songs are fine, the first begins with a slow, hypnotic intro, that doesn’t really announce the album in any way; the second track, and first single from the album, is more upbeat with some rock vibes carrying it through its run time. These tracks are definite growers. However, beginning with the third track, “Foxes” Joey finds his real footing; the song has a well-worn feeling, both musically and lyrically. It’s characterized by a soft melancholia that never overplays the emotion. From there on out, “Starlight”, “Diner Girl”, “Midnight Drive” and “Jive” drives the record home comfortably.
Joey Jive is one of those artists that you don’t quite understand at first, yet with time his music becomes something personal and affecting. With every song he expands his sound, digs a little bit deeper, and unearths some more hidden treasures. He seems to have a clear sense of identity, and part of any success he may acquire in future will have to do with embracing that, instead of self-consciously morphing himself to some real or imagined expectation from the outside. As a result, this album feels both familiar and new.
Joey’s lyrics display vulnerability, angst, and hope. The songs have layers of sounds and meanings. Don’t judge this by the first casual listen. Play it through a few times and you will find that it has slowly captured you.
This is an album with the rough edges left in place. This is not the polished work of pros that have gotten incredibly good at what they do, but don’t explore all the corners of their creative minds. And for lack of anything better to do, sit around polishing their sound until it shines! Joey Jive rather avoids the safety of harbor. He rides out his own personal rough weather on the high seas without fear of experimenting.
While most albums released these days are front-loaded with the best tracks, this album really hits its groove in the second half. If you loved and miss the 80’s British new-wave-styled music, you will certainly enjoy Joey Jive!
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