Jeremy Jay A Place Where We Could Go

The title of this debut is quite accurate, as Jeremy Jay has a unique outlook on pop music that is paradoxically warm and cold at the same time. The warmness comes from Jay’s evocative voice, which, compounded by echo effects, fills the speakers with a melodramatic baritone that is like Ian Curtis if he was slightly fey. The coldness comes with the sparseness of Jay’s pop compositions. Where first single "Airwalker” jangled with guitars, drums and snappy synths, most of the songs here feature minimal instrumentation, leaving Jay to do the heavy lifting. This is seen on the boring "While the City Sleeps,” where it’s just finger snaps, an electric bass and Jay’s artificial swoons and proclamations. Much better is the title track, where Jay’s delivery is more heartfelt and the simple guitar is perfect. Of the few tracks with a little more meat, "Heavenly Creatures” is quite nice, as well as the almost rock of "Beautiful Rebel.” Just as Jay looks fragile and extremely sensitive, so is this music. Under too much scrutiny, its brittle bones easily snap, but handled with care, there’s a spark of genius. (K)