Singer-songwriter Jared Feinman, whose new album Love Is An Obstacle dropped February 12, is one of those select musical artists that not only can brilliantly and seamlessly move from genre to genre on his individual songs but can also do it effectively within a single particular song. Such is the basis for much of the distinctiveness and greatness of the artist and this album, his first.
With this in mind, while listening to Feinman’s dazzling compositions, one would be hard-pressed to pin him down to any one of the genres you may hear in the eclectic mix that he offers up on this record.
What is apparent however is that Feinman is a superior talent whose musical and lyrical expressions lie somewhere at the glorious intersection of blues, jazz, folk, pop, gospel, soul, and Broadway show tunes.
While it is a rare thing for me to say about any musical work that I review, I will say that Feinman’s triple-threat talent here – his songs, his playing, and his voice make every song on this album a highlight for me.
Starting with the opening number, the smoky and impassioned “Butterflies and Blues” and continuing through the rest of this collection, Feinman takes us on an intensely personal and decidedly honest trip of the affairs of the heart that I believe will be instantly relatable to every listener.
With the focal point of the collection undoubtedly being the three songs that compose his epic tale of heartbreak and loss – “Prelude To A Reverie,” “Inside A Reverie,” “Inside A Reverie – Reprise,” the other selections with their soulful and fervent emotionality- the introspective and harmonica driven “88,” the poignant and mesmerizing titular track, the anthemic and soaring “(Let’s Sing For) Love And Be Free,” the mournful and melancholic “All My Life,” the bold and daring “Wait For The Judge,” the inspirational and optimistic “New Life,” and the fiery confessional “The Sinner’s Last Song” all serve to drive home the point that this album is, if nothing else, a cathartic one for Feinman.
At the album’s end, as the contemplative and soothing notes of the instrumental “Some Final Thoughts” puts a capstone on the album, Feinman seems to be communicating with us musically that while we all may experience excruciatingly painful personal moments in this life, we all can come out on the other side as survivors as well.
And that is a message for 2021 if there ever was one.
Love Is An Obstacle 9 (West Of Philly Records) from Jared Feinman was self-produced by the artist and is now available on his website.