Jarekus Singleton: Refuse To Lose Review

Jarekus Singleton is a young bluesman from the heart of the genre — Mississippi. In his latest release, Refuse To Lose, Singleton shows off his originality and knack for storytelling, his hip hop influences and his bass playing beginnings. The album has a truly classic feel, but is also fresh and invigorating with its soulful and funky roots and youthful inspiration.

The track, “I Refuse To Lose,” starts the album with a tight rhythm and moody guitars. “Purposely” is a funky piece carrying an old school vibe. “Gonna Let Go” is an optimistic, feel-good track, with a chorus that sings, “Gonna let go / Lose control / Leave my problems behind me / I’m gonna let go / Lose control / And my problems won’t find me.” “Crime Scene” is more melancholy than the previous songs, and the story is one of heartbreak. “Keep Pushin’” is carried by an awesome melody on the guitar, and the vocals have a nearly conversational, autobiographical feel to them. “Suspicion” is a song full of relationship paranoia, and the guitars wail as if screaming for answers along with Singleton’s pleading voice.

“Hell” carries that same theme and brutal honesty, the lyrics of the chorus being, “When I die, I’m going to heaven, baby / You already took me through Hell.” The funky songs “Hero” and “High Minded” pick up the pace again, and both call out who seems to be an individual (or two) he once looked up to, but realized these people were conceited, egotistical phonies. The song “Sorry” has such a contagious, feel-good melody, and the story itself is sassy. “Blame Game” has a light, musical step, and follows pretty closely to the standard blues pattern. He incorporates a bluesy harmonica and also manages a classic feel with modern lyrics — “They wouldn’t let me text / Nor would they let me tweet.” The final song, “Come Wit Me,” is fast-paced, fun, and ends on a fabulous, jazz-inspired walking bass line.

Jarekus Singleton is arguably one of the hottest, most exciting new musicians on the blues scene today. This album could probably please most blues enthusiasts of young and old, as his music is an eclectic mix of both traditional and modern blues flavors, as well as those popular styles outside of the blues. Singleton and his band are making strides, gaining radio airplay, playing show after show, and most importantly, receiving recognition. To all blues fans — give this album a listen.

The Review: 9/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Refuse to Lose
– Gonna Let Go
– Keep Pushin’
– Blame Game

The Big Hit

– Blame Game

Review by Jill Jacobs

Pre-order the album: Amazon | iTunes

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