Jerry Leger - Early Riser
Released April 22, 2014
By Jessica Rinfret
Toronto native Jerry Leger's newest release, Early Riser, is a diverse offering. The album has an excellent mix of tracks, both upbeat and slowed down, while still managing to remain cohesive and true to Leger's sound. The guitar featured throughout the album is well done - just melancholic enough to evoke emotion, and strong enough to still have a groove to it. While the album has soul, Leger's soft vocals are a unique addition to the tracks. On the faster rock tracks this is an especially interesting combination. Leger's unique, wavering vocals contrast with the upbeat, rock tunes, as his melancholic vocal style is unexpected in comparison to the musical power behind his more rock offerings. Regardless, what is accomplished through Leger's vocals is a successful southern groove that is easy to move and sing along to.
The slow ballads featured throughout the album are definite strong points. The slower tracks tend to have very meaningful lyrics, a contrast to the catchy, simpler lyrics features on the faster tracks. Leger’s voice also lends itself best to these ballads, with its slightly mournful feel. These play well into the bluesy feel that the album lends itself to. Songs like To Let Me Go, a standout track, really show Leger's emotional side, and shows off his voice in the best light. This is a traditional blues-rock ballad, and he does this style well. For future work it would be nice to see Leger continue to explore his emotional, bluesy side in which his vocal talent really shines. Overall, Early Riser is an interesting mix of southern, bluesy rock, with slow blues-rock ballads that keeps listeners guessing.