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CD REVIEW: Roger Jaeger - Beacon

by: Cyrus Rhodes

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Artist/Band: Roger Jaeger

Album: Beacon
Label: Independent Artist
Website: http://www.rogerjaegermusic.com/

Genre: Pop, Alternative Rock, Singer/Songwriter
Sounds Like: Coldplay, Jeff Buckley, Death Cab for Cutie, John Mayer, Live, Muse.

Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 8/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 8/10
Best Songs: Beacon, Other Side of the World, No Clouds in our Way

Weakness:  Winded Songs, Short sided CD. More solo segments

CD REVIEW:  

Roger Jaeger is a singer/songwriter/instrumentalist based in Nashville, TN. After a long journey spanning two continents, discovering heartache and joy, enduring sickness and healing, laying down dreams and picking them up again, he is preparing to release his full-band debut album, "Beacon." As his first release since 2004, it has been a long-time coming. The songs stay very true to Jaeger's own life experiences, dealing largely with brokenness and recovery.

The CD gently takes to flight with rocking intro piece “Not the Same”.  This song serves up infectious rocked out guitars painted against mesmerizing vocals, hypnotic lyrical content and driving rock rhythm that quickly lead you by the hand down the path of impassioned musical indulgence. Track 2 “Beacon” keeps things rocking with its methodical musical build, passionate groove, impressive keyboard and Piano accents painted against a grand mosaic of vivid vocals. The passionate musical flow and subject matter of this piece brilliantly moves like an ocean across the ears. All in all one of my favorite pieces on the CD. Track 3 “Dragons” is an impressive electro-earthy piece that is quite dynamic, full of dynamics and  musical peaks and valleys that flow and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. This piece is remarkably striking to the ears as well with its Alternative Rock touches and hypnotic vibe. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Coldplay, Jeff Buckley, Death Cab for Cutie and even John Mayer, Live to Muse. I would classify this music as Alternative Rock with a dash of Earthy Folk and Singer/Songwriter with a College Rock flair. The CD presents brilliant flashes of theatrical rocked out ambience and all things life related. You will also notice rich layers of instrumentation layered along the way full of dynamics, Keyboards, Piano, Acoustic guitar, well placed harmonies, low end rhythm section and enticing melodies. Jaeger showcases some impressive singing with an appealing vibrato, warm falsetto and impassioned feel that comes straight from the heart. His signing works well across the board and at times he actually reminds me of Chris Martin (Coldplay). Roger Jaeger is a very capable singer/songwriter and he has clearly proven himself with this latest release. It’s melodic, it’s catchy, it's thought provoking, re-imagined and reinvigorated.  From upbeat “Other Side of the World” to methodical In the Driest Place” to hypnotic “No Clouds In Our Way” to rocking “The Words You Said” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with “Where the Roads Meet” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.   

All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish-line. CD is a bit short with just 8 tracks. Perhaps 3.4 more songs are needed to make this a fully loaded CD release. I also wish there were more solo type segments on some of the pieces.

Roger Jaeger’s latest rrelease Beacon is a compelling musical journey. Its strong suit is its consistent song for song musical flow. Jaeger gals gets high marks from me for their brilliant musical approach bringing in his life experience. Above all he is armed with some powerful life's journey to write about. This CD will be a real joy for those listeners out there who want flowing poppy ambience to fill their sonic space peacefully and unobtrusively. This poppish somewhat earthy format makes for a great extended play experience. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the passion takes you. 

Cyrus Rhodes