Published May 12, 2020Encompassing both reality and imagination, Jerry Paper is the cosmic alter ego of Stones Throw signee Lucas Nathan – a vehicle for avant-garde pop and non sequiturs. With his new album, Abracadabra, Nathan delves into elements of introspection and absurdity, exploring the significance of narratives and the place they hold within a musical framework.
While at times Abracadabra sounds stripped down and less diverse in comparison to earlier releases, Nathan's flair for off-kilter pop still shines through, with rhythmic percussion and warbly synths framing each track. The album's instrumentation provides a suitable backdrop for Nathan's abstract storytelling: "Words and symbols / For me / Hold flexible meanings," Nathan sings on the track "Cholla," a statement which holds weight throughout the album as Nathan explores the nuances of life.
Abracadabra's tracks tends to feel indistinguishable at times, dwelling on similar song structures and tempos without much deviation. However, there are still several moments on the album that are undeniably fresh and revitalizing. Songs such as "Body Builder on the Shore," "Puppeteer" and the single "Quicksand" highlight Nathan's aptitude for warped soft rock.
Despite feeling stagnant at times, Abracadabra is still a solid album. Blending elements of the bizarre with the trivialities of daily life, Jerry Paper toes the line of sincerity, emerging with a style that is both lighthearted and authentic. (Stones Throw)