Journeyman guitarist Jake Hertzog has just issued a collection of finely crafted songs which is sure to garner attention this year. Well Lit Shadow, Hertzog’s sixth studio release, combines forward-leaning original compositions with undisputed technical prowess to produce an album which almost defies categorization.
Hertzog forgoes the usual jazz trappings on Well Lit Shadow, instead blazing through with a captivating solo-guitar effort.
“Star Drops” and “Color Detection” both provide light and shade exploring tone and timbre. The songs almost define synesthesia, with the vivid explosions of sound and light. Jake Hertzog’s title track embodies the contrast of his album’s name, offering beautifully subtle tones and a lyrical feel.
“Cable Cars” seems to explore the themes of motion more overtly, with Hertzog’s energetic picking setting the entire scene in motion. His trebly electric guitar tone belies the energetic pulse of the song. “What We Found” takes on an almost other-worldly quality with its punctuating rhythms and fast strumming.
“Telegram From A Quasar” finds the album almost reaching its destination. Its main theme is more grounded and focused, while the final track “Ever Unseeable” seems to venture off again into the unknown. The song slow and evocative rhythms leave the listener seeing the unseeable and wanting more.
Come to think of it, Jake Hertzog’s Well Lit Shadow is perfectly cast, as it delivers the unexpected and leaves the listener aching to hear more.
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