★★★★☆

COURTESY CACHE1.ASSET-CACHE.NET Jayme's Young's "Habits of my Heart EP" instantly creates an intimate connection through his signature soothing voice.
COURTESY CACHE1.ASSET-CACHE.NET
Jayme’s Young’s “Habits of my Heart EP” instantly creates an intimate connection through his signature soothing voice.

At first glance, the artwork for Jaymes Young’s new EP “Habits of My Heart” makes him appear to be a rogue Mormon missionary. However, probably to the chagrin grandparents throughout the greater Provo area, this album is no gospel. This music has got some soul and while at times, the tracks can sound nearly identical, the soul is this album’s saving grace.

From the album’s title track, “Habits of the Heart,” it is clear that this is not going to be pithy teenage angst. The backbeat is slow, thumping methodically. While trying not to sound like your weird uncle, it can be characterized as “baby-making music.” Regardless, that is certainly an aspect of this album. It is undeniably intimate, so if you are looking for a soundtrack to your next date night, might I introduce you to the meanest looking Latter Day Saint you are likely to ever meet.

Though we began with lust, we swiftly move on to longing. This is a key theme in the album and if you would like some post-date night crying, Jaymes Young is once again your man. Young blends electric synthesizer with lower tones and abject guitar reverb to paint a picture of a relationship gone amiss. But longing aside, the theme plays nicely throughout the album’s later tracks. It is a soundtrack I would bring with me on a long drive in the night and it is an interesting choice that contrasts his other musical influences. Young takes a voice that can occasionally sound somewhat Justin Timberlake-ey and throws it into a medium that Timberlake has yet to explore: sexless longing. Jaymes Young presents us a sort of “sad Timberlake,” which, surprisingly, is very enjoyable.

Despite the inspired use of a Timberlake voice in an otherwise melancholic rhythm, Young’s soul style can occasionally sound repetitive. Young hits chords with the crescendo of Bastille and a reverb that might even sound a bit like some of The Killers’ later work. The problem is that almost every song sounds this way. It would be interesting to see Young explore a more energetic area, longing, but still upbeat. Think of Bastille’s “Pompeii” and Adele’s “Someone Like You.” It is discontent, but it is still exciting. Young almost begins down this path in his track, “What Should I Do.” This track, cleverly placed into the middle of the album, breathes some real life into the collection. Eclectic synthesizer, a little more Passion Pit than Marvin Gaye, keeps time. This track could even be played at a party, something not common in other songs on the album.

What is most impressive in this album is the poetry in the lyrics. Often, popular music throws away the lyrics and buries them under a deafening rhythm, something that Jaymes Young could have done easily. But instead the listener is met with rhymes like “a dark room inside my head developing images I’d rather forget” and “I miss your frozen love too much and I’d overdose from just a touch.” Impressive. Now, that being said, sometimes Young does venture a bit too far into the weird. Look no further than his line in the final track “Moondust:” “I’m building this house on the moon like a lost astronaut looking at you like a star from a place the world forgot.” That one can sit with you.

One of the most important aspects of whether or not one should buy an album is whether or not it fits into one’s life. What could one do with Jaymes Young’s “Habits of my Heart?” When would one listen to it? Well, there are two situations in which Young’s album is perfect: reflections and breakups. The slow and methodic rhythm in this album lends itself to slow movement. It is almost a sort of auditory marijuana. You slow down, think more, you do not feel an urge to move. This is what makes it perfect for reflection. Your mind doesn’t get pulled away from your area of focus. There is no voice in your head reminding you of your next class or appointment. It simply lets you sit. Even more so, the album is great if you are going through a breakup. While it may not help you get over your broken heart, it is nice to have music that mirrors your emotions. The sadness and loneliness that you can find in Young’s lyrics may let you express yourself, even if it is not in your own words.

So after all this talk, is the album worth a buy? Simply put, yes. The album fits well into any music lover’s canon. It plays well with the classics and brings about a voice of its own. This is an album that will be found in a “Most Played” playlist. It is a soundtrack to sadness and that kind of emotional resonance should not be overlooked.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*