When you get given an album to review, the first thing you see is the album cover. An album cover can straightaway tell you what you can expect from the album. And when you see the album cover for Mike Jacoby’s Long Beach Calling, you instantly know that this album is going to be non-stop fun.
Mike Jacoby is a multi-talented musician who showcases some great song-writing ability in this album. The songs range from deep and thoughtful to the stupid and silly. He plays most of the instruments, most notably the guitar, in the album showing off this great musicianship. The guitar riffs are infectious and catchy, namely from the song ‘Smile’. The songs vary from two and a half minutes to the final seven and a half minute track, showcasing his varying song-writing ability.
The opening track, ‘Long Beach Calling’, is a homage to his hometown and the Clash. It tells us all about his town, the good and bad parts along with a chugging along style guitar track. The first line of ‘Long Beach Calling, welcome to our town’ is Jacoby’s ‘welcome’ to the album, encouraging us to join us on his wacky journey.
The next song ‘Here and Now’ has the potential to be a phenomenal rock song. The opening guitar riff sets it up to be a great piece of music, yet here is perhaps one place that Jacoby’s song-writing lets him down. The never-ending repetition of the phrases ‘Here and Now’, albeit the song title, make the song seem less impactful as it could be. The opening riff almost deserves a better song, but does yet again showcase his great music writing ability.
If anyone could release a Christmas song in the middle of August, it would be Mike Jacoby, and he does exactly that in the song ‘Hangers (A Christmas Song)’. The standout of the album, Hangers tells the tale of a man who receives plastic hangers as a Christmas present from his girlfriend, but instead of being disappointed, he loves them and how he can now hang his clothes properly. The song is filled with genius lyrics and some great rhyming lines: ‘I can’t wait for next year, I’ll open that box, maybe I’m gonna get me some socks.’
Overall, the album is incredibly fun and enjoyable to listen to. The album ends up covering a wide variety of themes, from perseverance and hope; fractured relationships; death; super-models; BBQ Pits and a concise and accurate history of the Rolling Stones. Someone might say that what it lacks is something a bit more serious, but when listening to this album you just need to have a laugh or get up and dance.
Mike Jacoby tells us he wants to ‘Play like Richards’ in this album, and while he does that, I’ll try my best to ‘Move Like Jagger’ to his songs.