My Friends

Arrow Up

Arrow Up
Arrow Down
,
  • Sun
    19
  • Mon
    20
  • Tue
    21
  • Wed
    22
  • Thu
    23
  • Fri
    24
  • Sat
    25
Lux Boreal: Fit/Misfit Apr 19, 2015 The dance quartet Fit/Misfit is a collaboration between Iseli-Chiodi Dance Company (Ireland), Company Lux Boreal (Tijuana), and Cork-based music band Horsemen Pass By. 81 other events on Sunday, April 19
 
Seen Local
Normal Heights artist finds market for snarky wares
Cocktail Tales
Jackson Milgaten incorporates classics and finds from his travels
Seen Local
The second in our series on the artists awarded grants through the Creative Catalyst Fund
Nibbles | Food & drink
MEAT San Diego event with Dona Esthela and Javier Plascencia
North Fork
Popular Carlsbad spot has its own farm

 

 
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