Music Radar: Jackman. Album Review


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Jack Harlow rebounds tremendously on Jackman.

Jack Harlow is someone I have always been conflicted about. I really enjoy his nonchalant, I-don’t-give-a-crap energy, and his fun personality. But his lack of effort leaked into his music, especially on Come Home the Kids Miss You, released last year. The album was universally panned with many critics citing the terrible lyrics and boring production choices while blatantly trying to rip off Drake as the downfall of the whole album. This project, Jackman., was released close to a year after the mess that was Come Home, so did he take the hate in stride?

One thing I didn’t like about his previous works is how he never had something to say. But right out the gate on this project, Jack proves that this isn’t gonna be an issue. On the opening track, “Common Ground”, Harlow explores the issue of white people appropriating black culture through clothing, slang, and music. The production is great with a very boom bap and soul influence. It was one of few times where the production reminded me of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly.

Of course, this album is a far cry from the monument that TPAB is. There are a few nothing-burger tracks that just pass by. On a first listen I didn’t even realize that the album had ended– that’s how anticlimactic the last song, “Questions” is. The song passes by and it’s not bad per se, but underwhelming? Forgettable? For sure.

Jack Harlow goes into some new places on Jackman. The song “Gang Gang Gang,” poses the question “how far does a friend have to fall before I cut ties?” The song also gives commentary about how we all grow up with people that do terrible things. “Blame On Me” explores the dynamics between a younger brother, older brother, and dad in a dysfunctional family. As the baby of the family, it was really insightful to see not only the perspective of the older brother but also the younger brother’s perspective. The sins-of-the-father concept of the song is super interesting to ponder. The message isn’t cut and dry, but that is a positive in this case.

When I first knew about this project, I was super ready to write it off just as I had Come Home the Kids Miss You, but I was very pleasantly surprised. Jack Harlow took the criticism from that album and used it to craft a solid pop rap album. Jackman. is a short and sweet project coming in at only 24 minutes. The great tracks are easily thrown on repeat and the not so great songs are short enough not to do enough damage. This was a heck of a rebound for Jack Harlow and I gotta give Jackman. a 7/10.