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Jay-Jay Johanson – Self Portrait

I am disappointed at the lack of exposure Jay-Jay has received in America considering he’s a modern, synthpop Morrissey. I finally got his most recent album Self-Portrait and I’m blown away by the saturnine and desperate lyrics. It reminds me of when I first found Morrissey at age 14 and thought someone finally understood what I was feeling. However with Jay-Jay it is bittersweet. It is like remembering a lover who you’ll never kiss again or a friends who died too young.

Medicine is proving to be my favorite of the albums’ tracks. It reminds me of that “The Empty Child” episode of Dr Who because of the air raid horns in the beginning. I think the most fascinating thing about the song is the usage of this 1930’s monologue near the end.  The first time I heard it I was not expecting it at all and I was just pulled even further into the song. It was a very swan song  moment for me because I was at work and I realized I was needed to stop listening to this album and just breathe it in like lyrical antihistamine. Even now, the song saturates me with feelings I haven’t had since I was a lovesick teenager.

I find it so weird that I grew up thinking I was a Morrissey song (like so many Smiths fans) but it turns out I’m probably a Jay-Jay Johanson song (mostly likely Antenna‘s “Tomorrow”). I think I can more than live with that.

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