Jacob Sartorius, Left Me Hangin’ (EP) | Album Review
Jacob Sartorius, now 15, returns improved on his second EP, Left Me Hangin’. Still, he has plenty of work to do.
Yep, he’s back. Jacob Sartorius. Interestingly, the “Sweatshirt,” Musical.ly star arrives a bit older – he’s now 15. With age comes maturity…supposedly. Arguably, to his credit, the teen-pop upstart has improved gradually, even if just a smidge. Still, envisioning Sartorius as the next Justin Bieber seems far-fetched. Clearly, his second EP, Left Me Hangin’ is stronger than his first, The Last Text. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves – there’s still plenty of kinks to iron out for J.S.
He kicks things off with “Skateboard,” which features solid production work. This backdrop is enough to bump up the record a notch. Then of course, there’s the subject matter – a skateboard! In addition to focusing on his board, Sartorius informs the world that he’s beginning to come into his own by including ‘baby’ cuss words damn and hell. Sigh, unfortunately, it’ll take more than his “good music and one hell of a hill” to make “Skateboard” game changing, or for Sartorius to exhibit ‘mad game.’
Interestingly on “Selfish,” his voice sounds different. It’s much lower and to some extent, the performance is a bit more consistent. Compared “Skateboard” and “Selfish,” and some of the inconsistencies of Left Me Hangin’ rear their ugly head early on. Being an adolescent, there’s no doubt that Sartorius will experience voice changes and inconsistencies, but one wonders how far apart these two particular tracks were recorded. “Selfish” still doesn’t showcase a full mature Sartorius, but it seems to preview where his voice is going.
“Hit Me Back”
“Hit Me Back” gives Jacob a big-name collaboration with blackbear, who guests and produces. The production, naturally is a selling point, not to mention the brief appearance of blackbear. The chorus is catchy, but the vocals themselves are inconsistent – still developing. If the lower vocals paid off on “Selfish,” they feel a bit blasé here.
Vocal identity once again arises on “Chapstick,” where the Jekyll and Hyde vocals continue. “Chapstick” sounds more like “Skateboard” – younger, possibly recorded earlier rather than later. There’s a lighter, more boyish sound, with more falsetto. Perhaps to his fan base “Chapstick” will sound sweet and innocent. In the bigger scheme of things, this is schmaltzy to the nth degree.
“Nothin’ With You”
The sweetness (or schmaltziness) continues on penultimate record “Nothin’ With You.” Selling points include the light production work, which suits Sartorius vocally. The vocals are deeper, a sign of maturity. As far as overall maturity, from an outsider (of his fan base) looking in, he comes over more awkward than cool as he tries to spit game. Game returns ‘hard’ on “No Music,” which has pleasant production to attempt to atone for something of an unemotional, listless performance. Yes, he’s only 15, but “No Music” feels nothing more than surface level.
Positively, there are some signs that suggest that Jacob Sartorius has improved, at least since the abysmal “Sweatshirt.” Still, after listening to Left Me Hangin’, he’s got a long way to go. The vocals are inconsistent, the songwriting is corny, and artistically, Sartorius is still in search of artistic identity. Even with deeper vocals at times, he sounds green, young, and immature. His fans will and should appreciate the improvement. As for others who aren’t member of the ‘Sartorian’ tribe, we’re still waiting for the kid to prove he’s the next Justin Bieber.