Drake Jensen’s rock influences in the first single “Talk Me Down”

URL: https://drakejensen.ca/

You definitely hear Drake Jensen’s rock influences in the first single “Talk Me Down” from his fifth studio album Sideshow. The track boasts a full bodied and boisterous sound without ever coming off melodramatic and, given the desperation of its lyric, this is no small achievement. Jensen has built a substantial amount of his reputation on original compositions but “Talk Me Down” comes from outside writers. It doesn’t matter however. Jensen attacks this song like something he has lived and survived before and manages to convey every bit of the despair and desire for help common to such situations. It’s a focused effort from first note to the last and the running time of a little over three minutes may seem abbreviated, but Jensen packs oceans of feeling and emotion into a condensed structure.

I am quite taken with how he throws himself into this track. Jensen sings with commanding presence, inhabiting each line, and never spares listeners his double-barreled passion. The verses are effective enough, but he scales even greater heights with the chorus and bridge. The former sounds like it gains new found power with each pass through, most notable during the final refrain when he goes for broke and delivers a final breathtaking blow to his audience. The verses, however, are guided by the same sure hand, but you will be impressed as I am by his masterful control and how he sings along with the band rather than over them.

It helps to have top notch lyrics. Jensen, as mentioned earlier, is no stranger to songwriting, but he has a proven track record with cover songs and material from other writers as well. These skills of interpretation should not be underestimated or given short shrift – few singers can move from Anne Murray covers into rock-infused mid tempo tracks like “Talk Me Down” without losing their way. Drake Jensen, however, never strays off course. Instead, he does what any first class vocalist does – he treats this song as if it is his own rather than handling it with kid gloves and being too deferential.

The guitar solo near the songs end puts a bold exclamation point on the performance without ever plunging the track into self-indulgent nonsense. It’s further proof, if you need any, how Jensen’s musical acumen extends to selecting the best possible musicians to help realize his musical ambitions. None of the supporting musicians overplay and, instead, prove the old adage about the notes you don’t play mattering more than those you do holds water rather than sounding clever.

I cannot imagine a better way to kick off this release. “Talk Me Down” is an excellent choice for Sideshow’s first single and harbors immense promise as a potent live number. Drake Jensen’s hard work pays off with each new release and he deserves all of the praise and growing attention he receives from music fans and critics alike. This is a commercial minded number, yes, but it also full of aching humanity you cannot help but enjoy.

REVERBNATION: https://www.reverbnation.com/drakejensen/song/9967678-all-you-need

Gwen Waggoner