After worrying yesterday about the travails of classical music, today I’ve got some bright, shiny pop for you. No wonder I find such pleasure in this music.
Here we have a young fellow from British Columbia with a knack for writing and singing songs that sound familiar the first time you hear them. Part of that, to be sure, is to remind the listener very much of some other gentlemen with the same knack, such as the Messrs. McCartney, Simon, Nilsson and Joel. But if Tobias Jesso, Jr. keeps doing stuff this good, he may someday deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as the aforementioned giants of the field.
For now, Mr. Jesso sings about what he knows and feels, which in his case would be the normal preoccupations of youth. Not that us middle-agers and seniors don’t also feel these things, but it’s nice to have a fresh perspective on them once in a while. Do not, however, equate his ingenuousness with shallowness, at least after hearing the albums soulful centerpiece, “Hollywood.” I’m not sure how the odd coda makes it a better song than if it had just come to a regular cadence, but that’s one of the few things I question in a very likable album. Fun for the whole family, from your pre-teen daughter to your grandmother — and for you too.