As Oberlin students, many of us are striving for a career in the arts. We dread the cubicle — the stilted nine to five corporate business job. But how many of us will get the opportunity to pursue the art we enjoy so much?The slightly mordant David Jacobson has held on to his dreams, releasing his latest album, Footprints, adding to his total of ten records over the last decade.
Jacobson has a knack for finding humor in even the most pathetic of life situations, clearly shown in an amusing track titled “Batteries.” Jacobson croons, “I said why don’t you just come home with me / She said I’d rather stay home with my batteries.” (...get it? Don’t think about it too hard, like I did.) This song, a series of failed pick-up attempts, is very similar to the narrative woes of Stephen Lynch.
“The new album, Footprints, deals with obsession and mortality through both humorous and melancholy acoustic songwriting. The songs start in the acoustic singer/songwriter genre but venture into rock, pop and experimentation,” Jacobson said.
This Jersey City resident does most of his performing in small coffeehouses for loyal crowds, who are always ready to hear something new and different. Track six, a song called “Cordelia,” is told entirely from the point of view of King Lear, Shakespeare’s famous tragic hero. The song is full of confessions and emotions, as King Lear speaks to his youngest daughter through music.
A personal favorite, “Postcard,” features guitar riffs cut from a similar cloth as Jack Johnson’s. “Did you think of me at all / While you were away?” asks Jacobson in this bitter song of unrequited love (which we all can relate to). “No, I didn’t expect a postcard / But I thought that you might say / My name as you stood out on the mountains in Utah / Did I even once cross your mind?”
With tracks on a whole new level of complete sarcasm and tracks about the great pain of unrequited love, it is impossible to predict what is coming next. Track 17, “Christmas in Jersey City” starts out as a calm song that sounds like a simple Christmas Eve call, asking for forgiveness at a loving time of year. That is, until it becomes apparent that all the caller wants is to be bailed out of jail.Jacobson’s music has yet to hit the charts, but is so entertaining and real it can’t be long. Footprints will not fill you with hope. It will remind you that you are not, in fact, immortal and that sometimes love sucks and, well, there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. (Besides perhaps getting belligerently drunk on Christmas Eve and ending up in jail.)
But that’s not the point. The point is, Jacobson is expressing himself
in an honest way and doing what he loves most, no matter what the sacrifice. And
his pathetic, hilarious woes have captured him at least one fan at Oberlin
College. So let there be more. Check out
davidwj.com, and let’s send Jacobson
some love in return.