Jesse Denaro’s Dear, Love starts out as a strong guitar rock album that plays like a 90s alternative rock record with thick coats of guitar and smooth pop vocals. The opening track “Someone Save My Life” nails this as it is one of the most poppy songs on the album. It burns with a gentle rock sound of an Augustana or Fray song. “Waiting War” finds Denaro at his edgiest with the vocals submitting to crunchy guitars and a driving sound.
Soon after the album takes a distinct shift toward a softer world. The electric guitars give way to acoustic strums for the most part and the tone of the record changes. The group of acoustic tunes that comprise the middle of the album sound like Dave Matthews or John Mayer type of songs with strong vocals that strain but never lose control. The singer-songwriter tracks like “Young & Naive” and “Dear, Love” are clearly where he is most comfortable. At times you can hear Mumford & Sons’ americana style start to peek through, especially when a steel guitar is humming in the background of a song.
The last track “People” breaks out of the mold of much of the album made by acoustic numbers, bringing back an electric guitar stomp to bookend the record. The album feels very planned and thought out because of this. Dear, Love is really a solid record for lovers and people who love non-offensive pop rock but will fail to excite listeners who long for experimentation.
Key Tracks: “Waiting War” “Young & Naive”