Connect with us

Entertainment

Jxdn: Tell us about the album review tomorrow

Published

on

Jxdn: Tell me about tomorrow's album review

Before Travis Barker drummed behind a fist-pumping Willow Smith, before he and Machine Gun Kelly released an album of catchy, thrashy rock songs before Rolling Stone crowned him “Gen-Z’s Pop Punk Whisperer”, he was convinced that Jaden Hossler was the future was. One of Barker’s teenage children told him about Hossler, a TikTok star who rose to fame as part of the contentious content collective Sway House; many of his videos show him shirtless and lip-synching, gloomy on a skateboard with a cigarette or dancing in a pool. In 2020, Hossler released a single himself, “Comatose,” a blown, guitar-heavy complaint of not caring enough about missing his ex. Barker called him the next day and soon signed Hossler as the first artist on his DTA label. Tell Me About Tomorrow is Hossler’s debut as Jxdn, but it’s Barker who towers over every track. Despite Hossler’s oversized online personality, the record tells us nothing about who he is, just who he wants to emulate.

The result is an album that doesn’t stop proclaiming how punk it is. There are incessant power chords and pounding drums, howls and moans and screeched choruses. If Hossler sounds like he’s discovering the genre for the first time, it’s because he is. He’s open to the fact that he only started listening to punk two years ago after wearing a Descendents t-shirt in a music video; Now he proudly tells the interviewers that they are his favorite band. Hossler has a sweet, melodic voice that, in the great tradition of pop-punk bands of the 2000s such as Boys Like Girls or All Time Low or Mayday Parade, he distorts it into a grunt, grate or whine. Most of the time, however, he’s just making his best impression of Machine Gun Kelly.

The difference is that Machine Gun Kelly often sounds like he’s joking, basking in his own glamor or writing with the specifics of the scene. Hossler treats “Rockstar” as a substitute for identity or taste and repeats the sentence over and over as if he wanted to convince himself. He’s “fucked up like a rock star”; he asks a lover to “fuck me like a rock star”; he claims a girl called him a rock star, “so I have to rock it”. “I’m still a fucking rock star!” he whines at “Angels & Demons Pt. 2 ”,“ and I can still dance if I want! ”“ Haha, siiiick ”, he sneers at the end of“ So What! ”, Verbalizing the self-serious satisfaction that permeates the record.

Hossler’s two goals with the album were “promoting mental health awareness” and “making real, authentic music,” he said last December, but clunky writing makes legitimate fights sound silly and synthetic. “I think I’m addicted to depression,” he whines at “No Vanity”. “It was cloudy with a chance of fear,” he warns on “Better Off Dead,” a sparkling track that was co-written with Mopey-Pop singer Lauv. Despite all of Barker’s obvious fingerprints, the Tell Me About Tomorrow credits also include a curated lineup of sadbois. The garish-to-online singer blackbear helped with production; SoundCloud-affiliated rapper Iann Dior stops by for a muddy verse; MGK himself screams along with “Wanna Be” over the drums. The background noise blurs until every sincere confession – “I want everything to be all right”, “Some days I wish I could disappear”, “I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time on fear” – disinfected and sanded down.

Hossler’s music sounds more like a collision of trend and opportunity than anything born of his ability. It’s hard not to imagine how drastic this album would be if it got famous five or five years ago, when the current hot topic styling resurgence has inevitably faded. By then, there will likely be a plethora of albums that sound like this, some produced by Barker and others that easily mimick him: pop-punk fueled by all of the same fear, misogyny, and interpersonal toxicity as the mid-eights, just with more influencer clout and fewer side panels.

Check out 10 of our top rated albums of the week every Saturday. Register here for the 10 to Hear newsletter.