14 Songs, 50 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

On Jesse Malin’s second solo album, there’s healthy empathy for the downtrodden and broken and a worldview that’d do Martin Scorsese proud. “Arrested” is classic NYC singer/songwriter rock 'n' roll, detailing boxed-in city characters becoming aware of their own futility. Like observations from an apartment window above a coin laundry on a drug corner, where “the undercover makes the bust/But not before he gets a touch.” Then “Swinging Man” sees an improvident romantic on the lam who gets his: “We never had a baby but she got more tattoos/And I got more material for the blues.” The frontman of the ill-fated power-chorders D Generation came up in the shadow of Max’s Kansas City—too young to have been damaged in it and far enough away to romanticize. Throw in big sweeping production—with acoustic and slide guitars, droning organs, reverb, and piano—and some Midnight Cowboy and Lenny Bruce aesthetics, and it’s no wonder that Bruce Springsteen’s a huge fan of this 2004 release. Malin’s nasally delivery takes a minute, but his voice conveys real sadness (and bittersweet pop tones) when necessary.

EDITORS’ NOTES

On Jesse Malin’s second solo album, there’s healthy empathy for the downtrodden and broken and a worldview that’d do Martin Scorsese proud. “Arrested” is classic NYC singer/songwriter rock 'n' roll, detailing boxed-in city characters becoming aware of their own futility. Like observations from an apartment window above a coin laundry on a drug corner, where “the undercover makes the bust/But not before he gets a touch.” Then “Swinging Man” sees an improvident romantic on the lam who gets his: “We never had a baby but she got more tattoos/And I got more material for the blues.” The frontman of the ill-fated power-chorders D Generation came up in the shadow of Max’s Kansas City—too young to have been damaged in it and far enough away to romanticize. Throw in big sweeping production—with acoustic and slide guitars, droning organs, reverb, and piano—and some Midnight Cowboy and Lenny Bruce aesthetics, and it’s no wonder that Bruce Springsteen’s a huge fan of this 2004 release. Malin’s nasally delivery takes a minute, but his voice conveys real sadness (and bittersweet pop tones) when necessary.

TITLE TIME

More By Jesse Malin

You May Also Like