Luke Jackson is one of the most outstanding young musicians to have emerged in recent years and from album to album and show to show, he has constantly grown up and evolved his music to create tracks that are each more perfect than the last. His latest release Journals is a beautiful and reflective look at the world that amplifies his talents once again and takes them to a grander stage.
Jackson has long been a personal favourite of mine with what I would consider some of the best songs in the last decade but that’s just me. With Journals however it really does feel as though he has turned a corner in his career. Lyrically, Jackson has always been wise beyond his tender years and yet as he ages his lyrics continue to become deeper, richer and more steeped in sentiment and life. Songs like Baby Boomers are deftly crafted to cut into the corners of your heart, chipping away until you feel reduced and exposed to some of life’s cold, hard truths. The crux of the matter however is the simple fact that the way in which Jackson presents his thoughts and sentiments is so tender and expertly crafted that no matter how deep the darkness he shines a light into, that light penetrates to the very core. Where Journals really comes into its own within his catalogue of work is the grandeur of the music that Jackson brings to life.
Jackson has always had a way with music that lets him strip back his tunes to almost core concepts and then completely reconstruct them to meld together something that feels simultaneously polished and rough around the edges. This is a trend that he continues with Journals as it relays a series of songs that each sound like they are stripped back, acoustic renditions but then despite this acoustic notion Jackson has actually surrounded them with a monstrous sense of grandeur. His album is a veritable maelstrom of sound topping his soft stylings with heavy, rumbling bass lines and daring guitar melodies. Smashing drums, keyboard melodies and so much more all drift through the air surrounding and enveloping you in a cloak of sound. Everything is so rich and textured as dextrous melodies are elevated time and again by Jackson’s daring instrumentals. Atop it all of course is a voice that treacle could envy. Dark, smooth and sweet as honey, Jackson has a depth and breadth in his vocal range that allows him to convey a wealth of emotions within just a few short notes and in Journals it feels as though he has matured once again, become more adept at conveying his notions and sentiments.
Journals is a beautiful and splendid album that collects together a series of stirring melodies and evocative lyrics to craft a daring and experimental songs. Jackson has one of the most beguiling voices on the folk circuit today and with his immeasurable musical talents and lyrical genius he is musical force of nature in which makes Journals one of the best albums of the year so far.
Review by Joe Knipe