Jake Miller, 2:00am in LA | Album Review
Pop heartthrob Jake Miller remains consistent on his latest project, ‘2:00am in LA.’ More folks should be listening to the 24-year old artist.
What is one of the first things you notice about Jake Miller? Likely, the answer most would say is his body – the dude is fit and exemplifies heartthrob status. While it’s hard not to notice the ultimate fitness goals and/or looks realized, more folks should be noticing his musical talent. He’s much more than muscles and a handsome face. Miller is a talented pop artist who has yet to get his just due. 2:00am in LA continues to show his viability in the pop game.
“Can’t Help Myself”
Opener “Can’t Help Myself” features slick production work, led by an electronic palette of sounds. Jake Miller is charged up – with swagger that is. What’s the dude singing about? Sex. He pulls it off well, particularly when he ascends into his falsetto. All in all, a great start to 2:00am in LA. “Halfway” follows with a vengeance – doesn’t take long for another f-bomb to show up. Anyways, “Halfway” encompasses love, with Miller questioning her status in the relationship. He wants the full investment – no halfway love. All in all, another pleasant, enjoyable joint.
“I don’t go to parties anymore / ‘Cause I’m afraid to see you / When I open up the door/ standing there with my replacement.”
On “Parties,” evidenced by the aforementioned quote, Miller allows himself to be vulnerable. Sure, he doesn’t go all in, but he admits the pain of missing an ex- and not being able to see her with someone else. It’s not a brand-new situation, but quite relatable. It translates well to a pop track. He flips the situation on “Sleeping with Strangers,” where he replaces his ex with someone he doesn’t really love. As far as sequence within the narrative, it was smart to put both songs side-by-side.
On “Palm Blvd,” Miller is ready to return home. Once more opting for personal lyrics, he discusses missing his family, using specific examples. Again, Miller balances fun pop music and meaningful lyrics. “Answers” finds him embracing more of a contemporary soul sound. This isn’t far-fetched – he’s established himself as an eclectic pop musician, incorporating R&B and hip-hop. What answers does he need? Matters that only God knows and humans will never find out. It’s gimmicky, but a fun, thoughtful listen.
“I Wish You Didn’t Love Me”
Miller showcases a beautiful vocal tone on “I Wish You Didn’t Love Me.” The record begins as a ballad, before evolving into a groovy, electro dance-pop record. Gimmicky – particularly the pitch-shifted vocals – it’s infectious to the nth degree. Love, rather sex is on his mind on sensual, slow jam “No Return.” Why is it called “No Return?” It’s simple – “we’re about to pass the point of no return.” There may be no foul words, but Miller ‘lives on the edge’ on this one. What else is there to think when he sings:
“You naked in my bed right now / It’s getting so hard to breathe?”
Penultimate joint “Lost Time” is anchored by solid groove, more in the pop vein. It’s an okay listen, but not the crème de la crème. On closer “Back to the Start,” it’s nice to hear Miller rap again. Early on in his career, he rapped more often. While he transitioned gracefully into a pop artist, he’s still got bars.
All in all, Jake Miller delivers an enjoyable, brief album – or mini-album with 2:00am in LA. He balances pop for pop’s sake and getting personal as well. This isn’t a game changing pop album, but the painfully underrated musician continues grinding and remaining consistent.
Gems: “Can’t Help Myself,” “Palm Blvd,” “I Wish You Didn’t Love Me”
Jake Miller • 2:00am in LA • Jake Miller Music, Inc. • Release: 6.16.17
Photo Credit: Jake Miller Music, Inc.