With an impressive array of singles and EPs, singer, songwriter and producer Jeremy Zucker delighted fans on April 17 when he released his highly anticipated debut album, “love is not dying”.
Zucker recorded the 13-track album in Brooklyn, New York, and the city serves as an influence for his music. The finished product is an intimate tracklist that speaks to the heart, while addressing the complexities of love, heartache, self-worth and growth.
The album begins with “still,” an instrumental track that includes a brief conversation between two people in the background. While fans may feel like they were robbed of Zucker’s melodic vocals in this track, this quick song feels like a moment of relaxation that eases listeners into Zucker’s personal journey throughout the rest of the album.
“We’re F—ed, it’s fine” has a good message about accepting imperfection, but the beat overwhelms Zucker’s vocals. Great lyrics like “The weather’s nice / Hold me tight, I’m?coming undone / Life would be so boring without you / I thought about it all last night” drown under the weight of the music. Fans might find themselves wanting to adjust the audio to hear more of Zucker and less of the beat.
The album’s third track, “somebody loves you,” reminds listeners why Zucker is known for his indie electronica sound. The track features a techno beat that will make fans want to get up and dance around the living room as Zucker sings about falling in love with someone he’s never met in person.
It’s no secret that Zucker is comfortable playing with electronic music, but his most intimate moments — the moments which resonate with fans — are when he strips back for simpler tracks. “Orchid” is a ballad to a past lover. The soft piano accompanies Zucker’s sweet voice and powerful lyrics as his emotions take center stage. He sings, “But you still just don’t know / How to make some place home / ‘Cause we could’ve had it / Don’t you wish we did?”
“Good for her” also relies on a stripped-back sound and Zucker’s soft vocals, but the content of this track is unique. The ballad was originally written to be the ending of the album’s fifth track, “lakehouse,” but Zucker decided it needed to be on its own. For this reason, it is a shorter track, in which the young musician acknowledges that his past love is with someone new. With very few lyrics, the track feels more like a statement of acknowledgement rather than a sad remembrance, as if Zucker needed to say that she moved on so he could also move on. Clocking in at less than a minute, the song radiates themes of growth and the triumph of acceptance.
The seventh track, “not ur friend,” predated the album’s release and was dropped in February as a promotional single. This empowering anthem begins with a guitar melody, but the beat quickly picks up as Zucker sings about letting go of toxicity and having the strength to move on. He sings, “Hang up if you ever think of calling / Me up, not afraid to say it, darling / Sorry, I’m not sorry if it hurts / I don’t mean to make it worse / I’ve decided that I’m not your f—ing friend,” and the power behind those words is contagious.
Other tracks, like “hell or flying,” are not so powerful. In this piano-led ballad, Zucker’s smooth vocals plead for a person to make a promise that he knows they won’t keep. The lyrics express a quiet and hopeful perseverance, and as the ending note escalates, Zucker’s voice will strike a chord in fans hearts as he sings, “But I, I will lay down by your side / I will keep an open eye / While you stare into the sun / Promise me you’re done.”
While most of his album focuses on romantic love and the trials of heartache, there are tracks that focus on friendship, like “always, I’ll care.” In this sweet song, Zucker takes a moment to reflect on a college friendship that he feels guilty for neglecting. Fans will enjoy the sincerity in his voice as he makes amends and explains that no matter the distance or the ignored texts, he’ll always care.
For an interesting combination of Zucker’s techno and soft sounds, fans should jump to the album’s 12th track, “brooks.” With only one verse, Zucker wrote the song as a train of thought, but the lyrics provide an insight into a tragedy that he experienced. He sings, “And this kid I knew in college, he just died on a plane / Maybe that’s why I’m still scared to fly in the rain.” As a whole, the track is short, strange and intensely personal, but fans will connect with Zucker’s vulnerability and uncertainty about life.
Zucker ends with the first single he released off the album, “oh, mexico,” which was inspired by James Taylor’s song, “Mexico.” This song has a melancholic sound, as Zucker sings about accepting that he has a lot of growing to do. The hopeful lyrics make for the perfect ending as Zucker sings, “I tried to be myself, but still, I’ve got some room to grow / I’m going to Mexico.”
In this time of self-isolation, fans have plenty of time to think about love, and Zucker’s “love is not dying” came at the perfect time. Fans will enjoy plugging in some earbuds and letting Zucker’s melodic voice guide them through the confusing world of heartache and growth.