WILD is the latest track release from English singer-songwriter Jake Downs. It’s the second single from his album Fracture, a project that stands out from most pop releases with very few songs about love included on it. In fact, WILD may just be the only track that is explicitly about love. Its dark instrumentation through low piano chords and sustained strings give both Downs and his music a gritty edge.
From the outset you can hear how classical music has shaped Downs’ sound. For me, the track was a blend of classical, pop and indie styles with a strong influence of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound technique from the sixties. This layering, although it sounded amazing, could have been built up more. The song started at the same level it finished on and didn’t ebb and flow like it should have. Instead, the first chorus and second verse could have been stripped back to just piano, violin and vocals so that the full sound of an entire string section was more resonant.
Downs’ vocals were flawless. It was clear that he had amazing control over his diaphragm and tone, and the long sustained melody on the lyric ‘wild’ was avvery clever choice. It’s a great way of creating sound recognition and makes singing along that much easier since there’s only one lyric to remember. My only pet peeve was that he switched syllables in the middle, going from an ‘eye’ sound to an ‘eh’ sound. It may have flowed more smoothly if the same vowel sound was used.
WILD is a unique take on the genre of pop. Downs’ vocals are strong and reliable, his musical choices are good although I think they could still be improved. I give the track 9/10.
To hear the track click here