Deviant Motions is the third album from Jake Allen. The 14-song collection will surprise and please fans of pop rock, alt rock and even New Age music. Allen hails from Michigan and while he doesn’t subscribe to the often blue-collar rock and Motown soul, Deviant Motions expands upon Allen’s previous album, Etherica, with less jazz and more synthesizer, ethereal pop. And, it’s hefty song compilation is bigger than the eight-songs from 2009’s Sleep.
The first half of the album is the better of the tracks, but it’s not to say the last seven tracks don’t hold their own. I felt like the first seven tracks were unique enough to not be ‘filler” or repeats. Who’s to say, though, if the order might have been different, I might have felt differently?
Allen cites Nine Inch Nails, Bjork, YES and Confessions Of A Corn Silo (I had to look this one up) as his influences. Allen doesn’t have the quirkiness of Bjork, and Confessions Of A Corn Silo have a stickier guitar sound – Allen finger plucks the electric and acoustic guitars. His method is surprisingly softer and not once did I hear the guitar neck break, or feel as though things were choppy. He seamlessly caresses the strings and synthesizer sounds – especially in the first track “The Picture.”
In “Bridges” (track two) Allen’s voice really shines. This song rocks a bit harder than “The Picture” but it’s different enough to stand out. I think with the enormous amount of musical product that can found online, listeners are constantly inundated with sound – Allen jumps into the fray and churns out a melodic rock song radio ready. Props to him for taking chances on a slicker sound – his Etherica album had lots of great things going for it, but this song really encapsulated Deviant Motions for me.
“Scorpio” has this great airy vibe feel to it. It’s another outstanding pop flavored tune. It’s not sticky sweet, like Colbie Caillat or Jack Johnson for example, but more Switchfoot.
In “If You Fall Apart” Allen really fills any open spaces. This is the fourth track and he’s really enlisting is pop-rock fused guitar with small flecks of synthesizers. His voice carries much emotion in this one.
“The End Of Us” is a softer, mellow track. I love the flow to this one.
“Imprismed” is the sixth track and drowns the listener in new creative, almost ambient sounds. His vocals just envelop you; hug you into hanging onto every word.
Allen receives high marks for the memorable Deviant Motions. He’s not just going through the motion and frankly, his brain and imagination will take pop music in a wonderful new direction. I like that he writes his own music and his guitar work is amazing. Yes, there are few so-so songs on this album, but he earns a solid showing.
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Jake Allen – Deviant Motions