BY JOHN B. MOORE
The 10-song debut from New York State native Jesse Denaro is not earth-shatteringly original, but very few releases are nowadays. You can hear everyone from Death Cab For Cutie to Bright Eyes in Dear Love, but the album still manages to build on those influences rather than simply ape them. The result is pretty impressive.
The record sounds much better than any pre-conceived notions you’re bound to have about a first-timer with a label-less release. The playing is tight without being rigid; the lyrics surprisingly thoughtful given the basic themes of love and loss (and a touch of religion); and Denaro’s husky voice is perfectly suited for this mainly acoustic record. And regardless of whether musicians are bristling against or championing the emo tag this month (judging on the latest press releases, I think genre is cool once again), the heart-on-sleeve lyrics could have come straight out of his personal journal.
Denaro’s record is not breaking any new musical ground here, but sometimes you don’t need to if the songs are solid enough. In this case, they are.
DOWNLOAD: “The Grand La Manz,” “Dear, Love” and “Break Your Heart”