Jeremy Jay Jeremy JaySplash
You don’t have to do anything but dial his number. What are you waiting for? He’s going to be there waiting for the telephone to ring (or at least, that’s what he sings in “Just Dial My Number” - very The Divine Comedy , but also very Semisonic). Just don’t be surprised if he mistakes your for somebody else when he picks up, because obviously you aren’t Morrissey; judging from the definitive turn that he’s taken with his short and disorderly career (three albums, the same number of EPs, a fake soundtrack, an odd boy addicted to 50’s pop), the voice of the former leader of The Smiths is what Jeremy Jay would like to hear when he picks up the phone. In the first of the two albums that he plans to put out this year, “Splash”, Jay, who had always toyed with the idea of becoming a good disciple of the Manchester musician, has taken the definitive step towards his crooner side, or, as he himself admits in the phantasmagorical “Hologram Feather”, “songwriter , I’ve written some songs for you.” Nine, to be more exact. And they all talk about guys who are late for everything. Guys who aren’t where they should be. Guys who don’t fit in. And guys who feel things without knowing where the feelings are coming from (the modestly luminous “Why Is This Feeling So Strong” is not only the end of the album, but also one of Jay’s best songs to date). Officially, “Splash” is Jay’s third LP, the kind that shares something more than a pose (of the unfairly abandoned man) with Alan Vega and Gene Vincent , and which started his career with a false soundtrack of a film that he was supposed to star in himself (yes, our man likes the movies): “Dreamland,” pop with unbalanced pianos and an enchanted atmosphere (in the phantasmagorical sense of the word). And obviously not his best shot, although it has its moments (the aforementioned “Just Dial My Number” could be one of the favourite songs of a very young Lou Reed, still free from the claws of Laurie Anderson; or the delicious “It Happened Before Our Time”, a sad song, yes, but wearing a tie). His debut, “A Place Where We Could Go” (2008), continues to be unsurpassed. After all, “Splash”is only the first part of his output scheduled for this year, so maybe we have to wait for “Dream Diary”, the album that he is planning to release at the end of the year, to understand why Jay needed to divide his most recent material into two parts. Maybe “Splash” is only a taste of what is to come, a definitive embracing of his aforementioned crooner side. Maybe, but only maybe. Because the truth is, that although it leaves you wanting more (something that often happens with Jay, an expert in putting out albums that barely pass the half-hour mark), “Splash” is something small, but enormous. Just listen to “A Sliver Of Chance”, that little time capsule that takes off towards some other place where opportunities don’t just go by, or the luminous and elegant “Someday, Somewhere”, very Scott Walker, and you will discover that something is percolating behind Jay’s ‘splashing’ album. Even though it might be a broken and decidedly delicate heart (like the kind that he serves us for dinner in “As You Look Over the City”), we want more.