Drake Jensen – Talk Me Down
Drake Jensen is a singular vocal talent in a genre where conformity is often far more prized than individuality and he reinforces those skills with first class material. His latest single “Talk Me Down” from his fifth studio release Sideshow underlines his artistic commitment to top of the line songwriting with a no holds barred glimpse of a heartbroken lover reeling in the aftermath of a failed relationship and pleading for some sort of help. He embodies those aforementioned aspects of the song with a yearning, cornered animal vocal full of the fury and despair all too commonly felt by people when they lose the keystone relationship of their lives, but it’s never melodramatic. Instead, “Talk Me Down” is grounded in the realities of every day loss and backed up by a dramatic musical performance never overreaching for effect.
The song builds intensity as it progresses. From the start, however, we are thrust as listeners into the singer’s heated situation and Jensen makes his distress palpable from the first without ever laying things on too thick and undercutting the song’s genuine emotion. He hits his stride with each chorus of the song and never comes at that all important section the same way twice – this talent for variation helps the song come to life for listeners without ever straining to make its presence felt. There’s such naturalness about the songwriting for many reasons, but chief among them is the songwriters’ penchant for leaving out just enough detail that listeners can project themselves into the situation and embracing the humanity of the song rather than reveling in its dramatic possibilities. This is track with both feet firmly planted on the ground rather than relying too much on tired clichés that often form the backbone of such songs.
The drumming makes a big impression, but the overall fabric of the band performance helps drive the songwriting home for listeners. The rhythm section provides “Talk Me Down” with the necessary foundation and the guitar playing lays down rich chords over top as well as a sharp solo near the song’s end that never adds a single extra note and grabs the listener with its emotional tone. Jensen is, without question, well served by his supporting musicians – but, even more important, the song is well served by their contributions. It’s a welcome case of a vocalist listening to his band and vice versa rather than each side of the equation working towards opposing goals.
The Canadian born Jensen has made major waves since first appearing with his 2011 debut and this single will continue the trend. “Talk Me Down” does not remake the musical wheel and some listeners may even find it a bit predictable musically, but those listeners are urged to keep coming back to the track and relish the full on vulnerability Jensen conjures from the song with breathtaking ease. It’s an excellent place to start for newcomers to his art and bodes well for the quality of his new album Sideshow.
Readers are likewise urged to check out the music video for the song – there’s really everything a country music and even rock fan could want from a song contained in this entertaining package.