Relationships can be tough, but learning from them can be a bitch. On their debut full-length release The Highest Highs and Lowest Lows, Seattle's The Jesus Rehab, and principal player and lyricist Jared Cortese, want to give you an insider's view of his trauma. In this sense THHALL is a concept album on a familiar theme: love and love lost between boy and girl. Even putting pen to paper, words to music, is hardly new. In the new millennium of the emotional metrosexual male conversant with his feelings, Jared Cortese wants you to follow his cathartic navel gazing in a musical venue. So check your nuts at the door, grab an appletini with a splash of raspberry, and let's move on.
The music is melodic rock, nearing power pop at times. Even coming from Seattle nothing really smacks of grunge or post-grunge wrinkled shirt and torn jeans. Rather, you can hear Beatles to Modest Mouse, maybe some Flaming Lips. The first four songs are the 'highs' and the tone reflects those good times, especially the frisky If It Feels Good It Is Good. And the title suggests the shallowness of a relationship given little authentic consideration.
The next five songs reflect the lows of the relationship, although I'm not convinced the atmosphere earns the despondency one should expect. However, Nervous Energy probably, with its simmering uptempo lightness, betrays the incongruency of impending demise and insufferable optimism. The last two songs offer Cortese's conclusion: even in Dickens-esque 'best and worst of times,' he concludes this relationship was never love.
Alas. The question is, should we care? I'm not really sure. Learn with Cortese if you will, so as not succumb to being another of the Jung and reckless. I'd rather stab myself in the knee cap with a surgical knife. The music is enlightening and creative, but I'll pass on the pop therapuetic introspection. (And the quite grotesque, back of a junior high binder, art work.)
The music of The Jesus Rehab's The Highest Highs and the Lowest Lows is enlightening and creative, but I'll pass on lyricist Jared Cortese's pop therapuetic instrospection.
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