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Writing love songs is a dangly, perilous business. Apprehension is quite common in this field, but so is complete brazenness. Why is the contrast between these two attitudes so prevalent? The subject of love in music has been bastardized for so long by so many that the possibilities of banality in crafting love songs are, depending on one's personality, either too overwhelming or just nonexistent. One can face the former attitude of petrification as either a curse or a blessing; one is either doomed to obscurity while agonizingly overanalyzing this creative process or endowed with a necessary amount of pressure for finding the small crack of originality in the wall of vapidity. When one is too bold, on the other hand, chances are that the resulting songs are either offensively cringe-inducing or charmingly forthright.

Tobias Jesso Jr.'s case is a blurry one. His lyrics sound lucid and instinctual, but he once also stated that suffering is "the main ingredient for a great love song" and that "songwriting is what [he feels] like the only thing is really important to [him]." One could assume that he is a mix of both aforementioned attitudes judging from these qualities; his debut album experiments with intense sincerity and captivating subtleties in the lyrics and melodies respectively.

Goon is perhaps Jesso's morose narrative on love and futility. "Last night I had a bad dream that the world would end and would be forever ending," sings Jesso in 'Just a Dream,' possibly referring to his unbearably depressing and bleak year of 2012. No one has gone through a heavy break-up, been drenched in blood from a car accident and found out their mother had cancer--all in one year. That, however, only shows Jesso's ability to establish a common ground for his listeners; he captures the unmatchable misery from the tumultuous era of his life and makes it somehow relatable.

The lyrics on Goon free Jesso's internalized emotions, but his interpretation of his own melodies is the main source that completes this liberation. His voice, along with his piano, is crisp and clear throughout the album, but it also contains enticing nuances that mysteriously enthralls. What could possibly be the source behind this?

As his tour poster reads, "You can't miss Tobias Jesso Jr. He's six foot seven," Jesso is a lanky Canadian with a gentle physique. When listening to 'How Could You Babe', one could picture Jesso timidly singing, "And I find out you'd gone and met a new man / And told him he's the love of your life," as his eyes start to tear in disbelief. His voice resonates tenderly with the vintage twang of a seasoned singer-songwriter during the verses and when the song reaches its climactic chorus, Jesso bursts into a cry, a blistering breakdown. This is what makes his music so appealing and irresistible; Goon is filled with and thrives on humility. Tracks like 'Can't Stop Thinking About You,' 'Without You,' 'Hollywood' and 'Can We Still Be Friends' (which resembles Paul McCartney's hit ballads, especially 'Hey Jude') sound autobiographical and their messages are just too real to ignore. What separates Jesso from the conventional specialists of love songs (who usually emanate an overwhelming amount of swagger) is that he is always either questioning or making innocuously passive statements about love (almost to the point where his words sound self-deprecating). This seems to be the quality shared among artists such as James Blake; these are the ones who have written piano ballads about hopeless romance that make grown men cry. He lacks confidence (at least that's what the music conveys) and he is helplessly winsome for that quality.

Who knows what will happen to Tobias Jesso Jr.? His life is changing very quickly--at least it seems so in the public eye. He did team up with JR White (who used to masterfully enhance the presence and beauty of Christopher Owens' angst as the bassist and producer of Girls) out of nowhere after all; the spontaneity in Jesso's story fascinates and makes one wonder what he would do with music if he found the woman of his life. This is only a ridiculous hypothetical situation, but really--what would he do if all the suffering disappeared from his love life?

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