Artist: Phil Jacobson
On the Love Right Now EP, we hear the smooth vocal of Phil Jacobson as it nimbly moves over expert supporting musicianship produced by Grammy-nominated Dan Warner. Although we hear hints of Michael Buble (phrasing), Hanson (harmonies) and Justin Timberlake (timbre), Jacobson's music is closer akin to Jason Mraz with melodies that, while lighthearted and playful, are not without substance.
For example, "Don't Let Me Leave" features Jacobson capably dueling with Taylor Byrd on acoustic guitar; they're joined by the incomparable organ of Peter Wallace (excellent throughout this EP), and we're instantly transported to that delightfully chill place first inhabited by Looking Glass' "Brandy" (who's a fine girl).
Popular as the genre is, Jacobson will face some fierce competition; but he's already halfway there with quality production, and instrumental flourishes that are minimally employed to maximum effect. The trick will be fitting his solid vocal choruses with lyrics that are not only music-appropriate, but that also create nostalgic or romantic spaces that are novel or at least definite -- with John Mayer, it was the halls of his high school, or the deep sea of blankets on his lover's bed. (In contrast, some of "Don't Let Me Leave" has Jacobson's narrator on a plane.)
Without a doubt, with his considerable talent and support, we'll be hearing from Phil Jacobson for many years to come.
*** The author of this review, Jonathan Murphy, plays the tabl for the following band: http://youtu.be/tMS73-1kCr8