CD REVIEW: Jacob Acosta - Chants of Diplomacy
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Americana, Folk, Singer Songwriter, Psychedelic Pop
Sounds Like: Paul McCartney, John Mayer, Deep Blue Something, Dave Matthews Band
Technical Grade: 9/10
Weakness: A few short sided songs, EP release
NOTE: 10 star rating are reserved only for Full Length CD's.
Jacob Acosta the artist from Race You There and Roll Acosta is officially releasing his first solo project 'Chants of Diplomacy' April 20th, 2013 at Plush in Tucson. (tickets are available on his website). His previous works include, 'Acts of Treason' (2009), 'The Dawn EP' (2010), 'The Dark EP' (2011), and most recently 'This Dreamt Existence' (2012) with his first producer, indie wizard, John Vanderslice. He has been featured on NPR with his band 'Roll Acosta', been on compilations and features for Zia Records, and has played many AZ festivals.
The CD kicks gets off the ground nicely with No Taxes a smooth flowing intro piece that serves up slamming Americana groove meshed against thought provoking lyrical content and effective harmonies from Acosta and company. Track 2 “Normal Life” keeps things moving in the right direction with earthy flute driven intro against steady flowing rhythm, well placed acoustic guitar chops painted against a hooky chorus making for an impressive follow-up statement. Track 3 “Limbs” is another impressive groove that dishes out dynamic rhythm, impressive vocal feel that flows and ebbs its way through to motional fruition. The CD makes a great first impression dashing out 3 amazing songs in a row. The musicianship of everyone involved is clearly above the bar. I would classify this music as classic Pop, Americana, with brief touches of Earthy Folk, even Saloon Jazz, R&B to Psychedelic Funk of the 70’s. Music is reminiscent of classic Paul McCartney, John Mayer, Jason Mraz, and even Dave Matthews to Deep Blue Something. Along the way you will notice lush instrumentation with things like impressive horn sections, strings, impressive rhythm guitar and percussive accents, solid guitar solos, well placed percussion, impressive Horns, lush harmonies layered everywhere all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section. What I like the most about this band is how well they seem to groove together, testament to hundreds of hours of writing and rehearsal time no doubt. Now turning our attention over to Acosta - as for his vocal abilities well he’s a great advent. His voice goes down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively with a timber that is simply infectious. At times he really reminds me of Paul McCartney behind the mic. I might add he takes some impressive vocal risks indicating to me a confident vocal ability. All songs are extremely well crafted and consistent across the board - world class songwriting. This CD from Acosta delivers 6 solid tracks all providing musical enjoyment filled with strong musical variety and diversity. The music of Jacob Acosta has everything you would expect from a world class musical production. From slamming "Empty Praises", to melodic "Need Someone” this EP has something for just about everyone. The EP ends with Track 6 “Archetype” the perfect finale statement for a CD like this.
It’s hard to find any serious weaknesses with this release. Many of the pieces are a bit short sided as well. I typically don't give 10 star ratings out to EP releases. The Full Length release is a more complete snapshot to judge an artists by at any given time.
From start to finish Chants of Diplomacy by Jacob Acosta is an amazing collection of music. The songwriting – the gold standard, all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really weak piece on this entire catalog. The writing and playing abilities of Acosta and company are rock solid. The melodies and harmonies are well crafted, and the lyrical content is packed to the hilt with good old fashioned no holds barred R&B-Pop-Rock swagger. At the end of the day Jacob Acosta brings the mojo and is clearly a marquee talent based out of Arizona. One would be wise to keep a watchful eye on him as this Summer unfolds.