REVIEW: Jorma Whittaker: self-titled
Jorma Whittaker: Jorma Whittaker [Secretly Canadian, 2003] (mp3)
Three words? dreary, half hearted
To: The Office of Whittaker, Jorma
Marketing and Sales Division,
From: Head Office, CompuGlobe Industries
Dear Mr. Whittaker,
It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter. The general feeling around the office is that you have been a pleasant and agreeable co-worker, always on time and leaving the break room in enviably neat condition. But the quarterly figures we've collected as a result of your self-titled debut album have forced us to re-evaluate your position here at CompuGlobe Industries.
In these dire times of war and sorrow, we realize more than ever the importance of dark pop, especially to our key 16-to-25 year old male demographic. But, Mr. Whittaker, your particular take on this genre has us perplexed: your skeletal instrumentation, coupled with disarmingly vacant lyrics delivered via unreliable vocals, is neither gothic, menacing nor insightful. It almost seems as if you just don't care. And here at CompuGlobe, caring is job #1.
What makes this letter so hard to write is the handful of times when your half-assed approach yields some compelling musical moments. Your relationship-gone-bad eulogy "If It's Over" had the entire typing-pool swooning, and your cover of the Everly Brothers' "Man with Money" had this old billionaire industrialist lamenting for his lost youth. Also, the playful rhyming scheme on "Walk/Throw" will always hold a special place in my heart. But sadly, songs like these are the minority on your album.
The infuriatingly patchy piano work on "Clocks in the Sun" and "Favorite," the painful vocals and enfeebled song structure of "Fall in Love" and the ridiculous lyrics of "Molly Melancholy" represent only a few of the many reasons we feel your time at CompuGlobe Industries has run its course. The entire staff and I wish you the best of luck in your future employment. Have your desk cleared out by 2:30 PM and return your parking pass to the receptionist desk in the main foyer.
Baron von Compu, Esq.