By Carlos Lima-Lopez
How did I feel when I heard that Jessica Pratt was coming out with a new album? One word: EXCITED. I mean we’re talking the kind of news that hits you like a brick to the gut. Something that can really knock the wind out of you and disorient you. So after I heard the news of “On Your Own Love Again”, I had to return to her self-titled debut to prepare myself for her sophomore release. Now, if I’m being totally honest, I completely missed the boat on her debut; however once I finished, I was astounded as to find out just how much I really enjoyed listening to it. It harkened those Nick Drake, Elliot Smith comparisons, as well as the days when I would high tail it to café’s to watch my friends play their tunes.
I truly enjoyed “On Your Own Love Again” for Jessica’s songwriting, her sweet vocal style and her emotionally vulnerable lyrics. She didn’t give too much away about her own experiences; there was this naked honesty. “Jacqueline in The Background” was especially affecting, and it’s nice to hear about how one person wanted to tell the other how much they are loved, but never got the courage to get the words.
For me, “Games that I Play” is the tale of two people who feel uncertain about ones feeling for the other, yet they know they are crazy for each other. It should be noted that this song is one of many where Jessica Pratt shines. Her chops as a composer are clear with all her complex yet harmonious chord progressions. There is this part near the end where she strums her guitar with a gentle intensity and it takes noticeably longer for her to return back to the song’s serene atmosphere.
This album has potential for audiences to really relate to Jessica’s words and music. The songs drip of fluid purity that runs throughout album. With that said, there’s also an undeniable sense of a pain about unrequited love or a post break up life that can tear through you. Even with the simplicity of her lyrics, you can get at the heart of what she’s trying to say.
I like to imagine the scenario where Jessica’s fans come up to her and tell her that this new album became the soundtrack of their life after breaking up with someone they loved. To visualize a fan out there telling her it helped cope with having to start a new and move on, because well, sometimes the carnival has to close and go elsewhere. I’m pretty sure that would be a sight to see. I genuinely enjoy this album and I do hope Jessica Pratt becomes an even bigger name than she expects. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice that she has been making some buzz with her work up to this point and if it’s any indication for what is to come next, I think I might be drinking coffee, as her music fuels the cafè .