Jay has stepped through the mirror to the other side to bring us Slow Dance, and he has triumphed like the best pop idols, engaging our imagination while being simultaneously cool and strange, tender and tough, arty and poppy, traditional and innovative.
The recording perfectly reflects the aesthetic of the world Jay has imagined, and both Calvin Johnson and Bob Schwenkler deserve praise for accurately materializing Slow Dance’s wintry, yet robust landscape.
Listening to his simple melodies, uncomplicated structures and often disinterested vocals, the cool with which Jay approaches Slow Dance is unmistakable, and it is largely the single element that carries the album.
The L.A./Paris musician has a voice reminiscent of Owen Pallett’s and tends toward cutesy (see aforementioned Gallop). But these cloying idiosyncrasies are stirring on darker songs like Canter Canter and the title track.