Here in Jersey, the weather has been hot and sunny between bouts of rain, and the searing pain from my most recent sunburn reminds me that summer is on its way. If you are like me and have a spirit for adventure, the approaching summer season feels like a great time to escape to just about anywhere. What does all of this have to do with music? A lot! Keep reading to find out exactly why I think new music from Jantu feels like a vacation.
‘VACATION!’ is an aptly named album by independent artist and musician, Jantu, bringing vacation energy that will take you through the summer season. You may remember the Atlanta-based multi-genre artist from past radio interviews, Instagram live performances, or my previous article introducing him to my independent music community here.
Diving Deep into ‘VACATION!’
Whether you love or hate him, Jantu is a force to be reckoned with in the creative and business aspects of sharing his music. He always has something new and exciting to offer listeners and fellow artists, so I was excited to check out another project from him. In this article, I dive deep into ‘VACATION!.’ I share my opinion on the soundscape of ‘VACATION!’ and provide my usual loving feedback. Let’s get into it!
What New Listeners Will Love
New listeners will enjoy Jantu’s sound, which remains consistent – gritty vocals, dreamy audio, and just enough tension to keep you listening to each track throughout. The album is perfect for vacation, with relaxing vibes, party energy, and lyrics that celebrate the great things in life. Don’t be fooled by how chill everything is. Jantu brings the angst, too cleverly disguised by energetic melodies and rhythms. Pop-rock fans, elder millennials, and listeners who crave something different will lock in with this project.
Existing Fans Should Listen For Growth
Existing fans will recognize Jantu’s gritty vocals, this time a little more tuned up and leaning into that rockstar persona he has embraced as of late. Several tracks lean more toward rock and less toward hip-hop, but Jantu balances it all gracefully with a melodic rap that blends into finely tuned singing. Other signs of growth that existing fans will notice and approve of include improved mixing and mastering on this project, balanced vocals and instruments, and well-planned track positioning for a listen from top to bottom that tells a story.
An Audio Escape
Some things that I loved include Jantu’s vocal growth on this project. I hear he has been focusing on using his actual singing voice more, not just in creating this body of work, but in preparation for it too. This focus has paid off. His vocals are cleaner than they have ever been.
I LOVE the tracks ‘BLEEDING OUT‘ and ‘WASTED‘ and how they play into one another when you listen to the project in order (which I always recommend doing for at least the first listen). The two songs combined are reminiscent of my pop-rock fan days in the late 90s. I involuntarily bounce and bob my head to ‘WASTED’ because the melody, lyrics, and that SICK guitar riff take me back to the days when dancing with reckless abandon didn’t hurt the next day.
Things I didn’t immediately fall in love with include the tail section of repetition on ‘HOP!‘ I know loads of people love a good repeat sequence. That may translate well in a live performance, but when I am sitting in my office listening in a loop, it seems juxtaposed to the rest of the track. I feel like ‘HOP!’ would have been just as complete, if not more successful, less the repetitive tailpiece.
Generally speaking, I feel like this is one of the artist’s best projects. I’ve been listening to Jantu for many years and can appreciate his growth vocally and creatively in what he presents with each release. Don Lenoxx and 2woAM deserve a shout, too, because this project would not have been complete without their talents. I enjoyed hearing other voices and influences on the project and loved how well each of their sounds amplified one another.
I am always surprised, never bored, by new sounds and concepts, on a Jantu project probably because he is consistent with the vibes. Jantu always shares things that are easily relatable sonically and lyrically. If you are looking for a sonic escape, ‘VACATION!’ is ready and waiting for you to take that trip.
If you’ve already listened to this project, drop me a note in the comments and let me know what you think! What was your favorite track?
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