David W. Jacobsen’s newest album “Expecting Different Results” is a gem that shines light onto the societal norms that define success, authenticity and production. With 15 years of experience in the music industry under his belt, along with an education at Berklee College of Music, Jacobsen plays eloquently and harmoniously. His album “Expecting Different Results” is a pivotal comparison of nostalgia and reality. It wraps around listeners, speaking to both the listeners’ inner innocence and the jadedness they have developed due to society, expectation and disappointment. Jacobsen leads his audience on a deep dive of exploration through turmoil, judgment, success, creativity and freedom. Carrying the weight of societal expectations, Jacobsen’s album explores the difficult balance between quality and output.
Jacobsen urges the creative mind to question the realities of a world that expects a lethal amount of creative output, harsh individualism, and money-making as priorities. To convey these inquiries, Jacobsen surrounds the listener with catchy melodies and rhythmic chords. Making our way from the inner self, one steps into a view of one’s own participation in society and is guided to objectively view one’s own creativity, contemplating how individual authenticity and integrity can impact the world.
It is truly a marvel to hear the range of genres that Jacobsen is able to perform. The album in its entirety is eight tracks, beginning with “Expecting Different Results” and ending with “Bought a Senator.” “Expecting Different Results” welcomes the audience into Jacobsen’s world with an acoustic guitar that strums clear and bright. Jacobsen is a sound all his own, with a combination of intelligent lyrics and fluid tempo changes.
The center of the album is a song called “One Life,” which guides the audience to sway with Jacobsen as his rhythms strut confidently around the listener and he exclaims, “I have zero fucks to give.” While being judged by others is a part of life, Jacobsen invites his audience to strut to the beat of their own authenticity, stressing that life is too short to try to gain anyone else’s approval.
In “If I could Speak” and “Princes in the Tower,” the artist explores his younger self and questions his naïveté about not only what is cool, but also what is important. Noting the gullible nature of a young hopeful, Jacobsen invites us to look past nostalgia and find what can be of use to us as we are.
In relation to his younger innocence, “Princes in the Tower” expresses the sad truth that even those we trust are capable of using us as stepping stones to their own achievement. Both tracks convey the wisdom that although there is purity in each of us, there is also much to fear about ourselves.
“Indifference” and “The Ledge” are haunting reminders of how isolation and expectations that come from society and ourselves can drive us into depression. “Indifference” stresses the miserable feeling that being unrecognized is equivalent to being invisible, and “The Ledge” takes that invisibility even further. This song is a carnival of madness that puts us on the horizon so that we can see past societal norms of separation and view the turmoil of life as independent contributions that we as individuals can make, equipping us to question our own participation.
Though we may choose to be blind to our own impacts, “1799” and “Bought a Senator” end the album with a final challenge to the audience to view the reality of the current political climate. Stating what may feel obvious, Jacobsen speaks of unified parties and questions the authenticity of phenomena which use money to sway outcomes. These tracks not only further the inquiry of the self, but expand that inquiry to a much larger scale.
Jacobsen’s website describes his music as “poetry, satire, narrative storytelling.” Through his use of tone, we are able to challenge our own perspective, which is a refreshing experience as a listener. The full album, “Expecting Different Results,” along with Jacobsen’s entire discography is available on Spotify, Amazon Music, YouTube and Apple Music. Listeners can also follow the artist on Instagram.