My Friends

Arrow Up

Arrow Up
Arrow Down
,
  • Wed
    23
  • Thu
    24
  • Fri
    25
  • Sat
    26
  • Sun
    27
  • Mon
    28
  • Tue
    29
Axline Lecture: Alfredo Jaar Apr 23, 2014 The San Diego Museum of Art and MCASD present the 14th annual Axline Lecture featuring Chilean-born artist Alfredo Jaar, whose work, Muxima, a looping video installation featuring multiple iterations of a popular Angolan folk song, is on view at SDMA. 61 other events on Wednesday, April 23
 
Canvassed | Art & culture
A tale of near-death, bloody steaks and unprecedented opulence
News
Why the city can’t maintain enough emergency trucks
News
Meet ‘Jackie,’ one of the many faces of sex-trafficking
Film
Documentary about ill-fated project leads our rundown of movies screening around town
Editorial
Ten bucks an hour just ain’t enough

 

 
Log in to use your Facebook account with
San Diego CityBeat

Login With Facebook Account

Recent Activity on San Diego CityBeat
 
Home / Articles / Music / Soundwaves /  Jesse LaMonaca drops a new album
. . . .
Wednesday, Feb 15, 2012

Jesse LaMonaca drops a new album

Americana singer-songwriter offers something for everyone

By Seth Combs
smoking2 Jesse LaMonaca & The Dime Novels
- Photo by Rebecca Joelson

Jesse LaMonaca & The Dime Novels
The Lament of Tumbleweed Hawk
(self-released)

Musical versatility can be a blessing or a curse. Too little and an artist is pigeonholed for what could seem like limited capability. Too much and the music could sound indecisive and sporadic, as if the artist can’t decide what genre of music they want to play—or even worse, that they’re just being showy with their skills.

The good news about Jesse LaMonaca’s new album is that, while it lacks cohesiveness, the singer-songwriter makes up for it with an enlightened sense of pop songcraft and a voice that the listener just can’t help but believe. His first record, 2010’s Until the Stars Came Out, was nice enough—mostly singer-songwriter fare that fans of Ryan Adams and David Gray could appreciate. The new one has a little something for everyone: bluesy R&B (“The Flood,” “Wildcat”), altcountry (“Fool’s Errand,” “Well Has Run Dry”), piano pop (“Maggie”) and—dare I call it this—a power ballad that’s lighter-in-the-air worthy (“Heaven Knows”). I’m surprised the guy didn’t try his hand at rapping.

The lyrics are still problematic. While his voice makes it easier for you to buy his earnestness, La- Monaca mostly works in vagaries and clichés. Still, if guys like Sting and Alex Chilton have proven anything, it’s that you don’t have to be Shakespeare to get your point across. The Lament of Tumbleweed Hawk is not a perfect album. However, it is a giant creative leap forward for LaMonaca, and it gets better with repeated listens. If his lyrical skills catch up with his musicianship by the next record, he just might have a masterpiece on his hands.


Jesse LaMonaca & The Dime Novels play with Blackout Party, The Black Sands and The Fire Eaters at The Casbah on Saturday, Feb. 18. jesselamonaca.com. Email editor@sdcitybeat.com or follow Seth on Twitter at @combsseth.



 
 
 
 
 
 
Close
Close
Close