My Friends

Arrow Up

Arrow Up
Arrow Down
,
  • Wed
    27
  • Thu
    28
  • Fri
    29
  • Sat
    30
  • Sun
    31
  • Mon
    1
  • Tue
    2
Blazing Saddles Aug 27, 2014 Mel Brooks skewers the western in hilarious fashion, upending racial and social stereotypes through comedy. 62 other events on Wednesday, August 27
 
News
How one case study could potentially transform City Heights
News
Former customs agent got more than seven years for smuggling drugs and people into the U.S., but mysterious events are raising questions about the government’s prosecution
Film
Joe Swanberg’s new independent film starring Anna Kendrick leads our rundown of movies screening around town
Editorial
Formal complaint against the Probation Department shows how far local juvenile-detention practices are out of the mainstream
The Floating Library
What inspired me as I wrote my first novel

 

 
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