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The Optimist

The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

The student news site of Bloomington High School South

The Optimist

Tune Talk: “Jackman” Album Review

Album cover of Jack Harlow’s album “Jackman”

 With an unforeseen announcement, Jack Harlow released his third studio album, Jackman, the week of its announcement along with no promotion or build-up

Jackman takes a staggering approach amongst the rest of Harlow’s discography. Especially trailing behind his 2022 album Come Home the Kids Miss You, which is some of Harlow’s most underwhelming rapping and cookie-cutter production for a project where his weaknesses outgunned his strengths. With Jackman, we get Harlow’s most introspective, reflective, and personal side yet. With Jackman being 10 tracks with a runtime of 24 minutes, it puts a lot of the heavy focus on Harlow’s strengths, making it Harlow’s most concise and purposeful album yet.

In the first track of the album “Common Ground,” Harlow details his observations on consumers of hip-hop. He details predominantly the ways Caucasians, more so Caucasian frat boys, consume hip-hop/rap, adopt the vernacular, and appropriate the culture.

Following that, the second track “They Don’t Love It,” Harlow sounds very charismatic over this punchy beat with these chime-like keys. With witty bars here and there, Harlow comes off as braggadocios with a very high standard. Mentioning in the song, “The hardest white boy since the one who rapped about vomit and sweaters,” which refers to artist Eminem.

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Leading from there, track three “Ambitious,” takes Harlow speaking on his success and trajectory as an artist and from the levels he started at to the levels he will/has achieved all over this classy soul-chopped beat. It makes for one of the best songs on the album. 

Now track five “Gang Gang Gang” takes a rather dark approach. Harlow is telling this story about how it’s gang until it’s not or it’s family until it’s not. Harlow is going back and forth with himself having a conversation, talking about the things his friends Marcus and Kevin had done. He couldn’t believe that Marcus and Kevin would have done those things because he’s known them forever. This song dives into the issue with how people you may be close with, may not be who they portray. They may do these horrible things, and leave you speechless. You didn’t expect it from them, never would’ve. It’s a dark but meaningful song that delivers a great message. 

On track six “Denver,” Harlow, over this very relaxed guitar and soulful clicky beat, details the stress coming with fame. He does admit he is blessed with fame and it’s rather cliché for him to say that. He misses the days he was known less and wasn’t seeing himself on screens. He mentions he has become more insecure and vain about everything. The pressure to live up to people’s expectations too. It’s a direct sight into Harlow’s character and also makes for my personal favorite track on the album. 

On the track “It Can’t Be,” Harlow settles with the fact that the reason he made it to where he is isn’t due to his assortment of factors and traits, but more so is because of the color of his skin. It’s a very direct song, and one easy-to-grasp the idea of.

Comparing Jackman to the other studio albums from Harlow, it’s rather easy to label Jackman as his best work yet. He stays enclosed in his strengths and doesn’t try to steer away from them. Jackman is an emotionally introspective sight into the character of Jack Harlow. It’s a major step up from his previous work and leaves a nice cleanser from his 2022 album. A short, concise, and meaningful album that is a drift listen with many messages to be discovered.

 

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Layne Barnes, Staff Writer
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