Whether they are written as complex poetry stanzas or simple thoughts one has throughout the day, there is nothing more intimate than an artist writing their own lyrics. As the tracks filter through your speakers, a song’s lyrics can simultaneously feel like you’re in conversation with the artist and like you’ve traveled into a different time and place. Montreal-born Jesse Stone’s Break of Day is one of these albums, transporting you to the countryside while immersing yourself in his day-to-day thoughts.
The opening track “Love on the Charles” will immediately reel you into listening to the album. It’s an impressive hard-rock track, with clear blues and country influences. It is upbeat to the point of rendering you so joyous that you will never want it to end. Stone’s voice is powerful and wonderfully rough, vocals you will want to listen to all day. As with most other songs on the album, the track also contains beautiful backup vocals, which add a very nice touch to it.
“Promises” starts off sounding like a typical 90s soft-rock song, but then transforms into something completely different. Its upbeat vocals and fun trumpet have the track practically asking you to get up and dance with a discreet crook of the finger. It is the perfect track to listen to when you’re having a bad day.
“Fisherman” has more of a country sound than the rest, but with an added retro, surf-side guitar riff. The track also sees the first appearance of the harmonica, which adds on a nice layer and will have you wanting to tap your toes. “The Letter” and “Don’t Come Around” have a similar style, though they are a little more slow, moving, and relaxing. “Don’t Change” is also a slow country track, but with vocals that are even better, and with an overall sound that will leave you craving a road trip.
“Vampires” is a folk track, with slightly weaker vocals and really quirky lyrics. Unlike the other tracks, the focus is placed more on Stone’s voice and on the story that the lyrics tell. The track that follows, “Fortress,” is the weakest on the album, though it has the best lyrics. Its overly-catchy sound is too generic, and it feels repetitive and tedious after a while. Thankfully, the next track, “Life Is a Lonely Road,” is the complete opposite, as it is fully unique. If Mumford and Sons had collaborated with the Barenaked Ladies, they would sound exactly like this fun song. Break of Day then ends with another feel-good country-song, “Don’t Apologize,” which is the perfect way to end.
Overall, Break of Day is the perfect album for anyone looking for a unique take on the rock and country genres, while wanting some variety in their music.
Written by Franca G. Mignacca
*edited by Kate Erickson