Saturday, August 11, 2018

Singer-songwriter Jesse Rosenthal changes emotional shapes on the track "Party Dress"

The track Party Dress by Jesse Rosenthal is like a card from a Rorschach test where the ink blot never dries but, instead, flows and slowly changes shape and so what we see changes too. Blending indie, alt country and Americana flavors it shifts from feeling like a somber drink yourself to death song to a romantic slow dance in some honky-tonk. The revealing lyrics can be interpreted in many ways as metaphor as real as dreams or a hybrid of all. There are allusions to things or people in transition and at every emotional, artful turn Rosenthal's affinity for marrying melody to lyric is apparent:

"So lift up my party dress and I'll show you what this heartbreaker really looks like... and it ain't pretty, but it'll show you that every heartbreaker has had their heart broken. So I can't hate you and you can't hate me so we lock eyes and we kiss on the balcony. I don't want sex. You don't want love. So what we're doing, I don't know, ask some god above."

Aesthetically, the start of every verse has classic pop flourishes, in fact when the song starts it felt like the 70's rock pop ballad tones of a band like Journey and later this double lead that happens later again made me think of classic rock pop tones but dancing around those pop subtleties is that alt country, Americana almost goth pop flavors where the stories are always about broken love and broken people. The way the emotional and musical tones are blended so successfully is amazing. I really love this song. Jesse Rosenthal is one singer-songwriter (from Seattle, Washington) who I will be keeping my eye on.

Robb Donker

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