Jacob Sartorius Continues To Be Unconvincing on ‘The Last Text EP’
On debut EP The Last Text, Jacob Sartorius embraces the bag of modern pop tricks but falls short of proving legitimacy as an artist.
Truthfully, who doesn’t love to hate a teen-pop star? Everyone who isn’t a tween does. The latest victim of teen-pop bashing is Jacob Sartorius, who rose to fame thanks to Musical.ly. After releasing the critically panned “Sweatshirt,” Sartorius would drop another gem with “Hit or Miss.” Eventually, that led to the January 2017 release of his debut EP, The Last Text EP. The results are predictable. Tweens will eat up the fluff, while most music enthusiasts will continue to criticize the legitimacy of artistry concerning the teen musician.
“Last Text” fittingly initiates the EP of the same title. The vibe of the record is clearly patterned after Justin Bieber, the torchbearer of teen-pop in recent years. The difference is that Justin Bieber has matured into an artist who has been able to expand his base. Bieber is no longer a teen – he’s in his 20s. To the credit of Sartorius, “Last Text” is a step up from the god-awful “Sweatshirt” and the ridiculous rhymes of “Hit or Miss.” It will appeal to its intended base.
“By Your Side” embraces tropically-infused pop, incorporating a bag of tricks from the electronic music sound palette. Vocally, Sartorius doesn’t sound like “the second coming,” but pulls it off. Like “Last Text,” “By Your Side” will appeal to the Sartorius base, but even lacks the memorability of sheer mediocrity. The sound is familiar, thus indistinct with a youthful, continually maturing vocalist at the helm. Essentially, “it is what it is.”
“Bingo” opens with swagger, thanks to upper register piano chords. Furthermore, the beat adds some punch. The vibe is destroyed, of course, by the dumbest hook EVER, which lifts off of “Frere Jacques!” Ugh! Back tracking, the vibe was actually ruined the minute Sartorius shouts out to himself: “J.S.!” Throw in the ever-cliché pitch-shifted vocals and a generic bag of urban tricks, and “Bingo” gives “Sweatshirt” a run for its money. That’s not a good thing.
“Love Me Back” attempts to right the many wrongs of “Bingo” by embracing seriousness through balladry…for a minute. The sound begins much more mature, a small victory for Sartorius. However, “Love Me Back” turns into another display of archetypical modern pop, with spoken word lyrics, hip-hop drums, dance synths, and a clumsy, corny rap.
“Jordans” is predictable, period. The production is the best attribute. The song itself is built upon game based on ballin’ like Michael Jordan, not to mention the shoes themselves. While clichés play a role once more, one of the reasons why “Jordans” is flawed beyond clichés is vocally. Sartorius isn’t horrific by any means, but his instrument needs more development and continual maturity. Lacking that personality and vocal prowess, “Jordans” ultimately feels amateurish as a four-letter-word.
“Hit or Miss”
“All My Friends” lacks depth – the understatement of 2017. “All my friends are coming over.” Next!
“Hit or Miss” tops “Sweatshirt,” but that doesn’t make it a “W” by any means. To his credit, “Hit or Miss” has a thoughtful message:
“I heard that life gets hard when you’re older / and the fun stuff’s just for kids / but what I realize as I grow up / is that it’s just hit or miss.”
The problem is, he goes on to rap and makes references to Casper, Blues Clues, and even love. At the time “Hit or Miss” materialized, Sartorius was 13. What does he know about love at 13? Middle school romance isn’t in the same league as legit romance… just an observation. The “Sweatshirt (Remix)” concludes The Last Text EP. No more comments on that…
Ultimately, for those who have been following Jacob Sartorius, The Last Text EP is what was expected from the up-and-coming teen-pop star. The skeptics and haters will continue to hate after hearing this eight-track EP. His tween fans will continue to exhibit mad crushes on him calling him the greatest thing “since sliced bread.” Ultimately, artistically, Sartorius has a lot of improvement to make to be a truly successful, respected musician. While there are shades of potential on The Last Text, there isn’t enough for Sartorius to prove he’s legit beyond Musical.ly, at least at this time.
Jacob Sartorius • Last Text EP • T3 Music Group • Release: 1.20.17
Photo Credit: T3 Music Group