A few years ago, Melbourne’s Jake George treated us all to a string of impressive releases, opening up with his expansive ‘Heart’ EP, and then continuing to impress with singles like ‘Investigators’ and his debut album ‘Clear View’. Three impressive pieces, they showcased a natural expansive in Jake’s sound, offering a more keenly crafted alternative rock style that wasn’t afraid to dabble in funk and soul sounds. Now, two years and countless moments later, Jake is back with his second album, the poetically titled ‘Drive All Night’.
Written during the global pandemic that affected us all, ‘Drive All Night’, finds Jake in a more contemplative mood than in his previous releases. Touched by feelings of isolation from the COVID-19 pandemic, pains of betrayal, and the struggles of balancing a full-time job with bringing his first child into this world, it’s an album of slower, more impactful songs, offering a new, mellower side to Jake’s sound, balancing out the rapturous style of ‘Clear View’.
Opening with ‘Everything You’ve Wished For’, Jake introduces us to a more polished and sonic sound, one that is emotive, reflective, and often more melancholic than any of his previous pieces. It’s instantly accessible, offering warm tones and gentle synths that ease you into the scattered alt-rock style, making for an emotive and expansive soundscape where Jake’s vocals can shine. The change in style is instantly recognisable, and it holds firm throughout the rest of the album, ensuring that every track helps build a bigger picture.
The second track, ‘Kings and Queens’, arrives as an early highlight, creating a guitar-driven sound that is dominated by heavy rock threads and perfectly orchestrated choruses that are purpose-built to impress. It’s arguably one of Jake’s finest moments, and a track you listen to time and time again. As the album progress, it ebbs and flows with a sombre, but triumphant style, offering soft, ruminative tracks like ‘She’s All I Need’, ‘Your Ghost’, and ‘When You Go Away’, alongside more high-stepping, funk-infused tracks like ‘Warrior’, ‘Satellites’, and ‘All In A Day’, that carry the latter half of the album.
Between the scales, Jake also finds more transformative ground, showcasing the breadth of his creativity in ‘Get You Ready’, a shimmering guitar piece drenched in subtle grunge aesthetic, reflective refrains, and utterly undeniable choruses, along with ‘Night Drive’, a slowly evolving instrumental stitched together from tempered beats and subtle guitar chords. It’s these kinds of tracks that really draws you into the album, standing as firm favourites, but above them, all is ‘Break Down’, the closing piece that hits as an eclectic six-minute epic. Combining elements of every track into one brilliant piece, ‘Break Down’ is a perfect end to a solid second album.
While not every song has the same sense of instant appeal as ‘Clear View’, the tracks on ‘Drive All Night’ offer a more introspective and rewarding experience, you just have to take a little more time to really find it. Available now, it’s a rewarding listen, and an album that Jake should be eternally proud of.
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