Gentleman Jesse: Perfectly Senseless

Tuesday's Pick

  • Song: "All I Need Tonight"
  • Artist: Gentleman Jesse & His Men
  • CD: Gentleman Jesse & His Men
  • Genre: Rock
Gentleman Jesse's Jesse Smith 300

Gentleman Jesse's "All I Need Tonight" doesn't blow people's minds so much as permanently lodge itself therein. courtesy of the artist hide caption

itoggle caption courtesy of the artist

Gentleman Jesse and His Men come from Atlanta's underground rock scene, which has spawned the buzzed-about likes of Deerhunter, Black Lips and The Coathangers. But unlike those acts, which often experiment with sound and cryptic or cheeky lyricism, Gentleman Jesse isn't trying to reinvent the guitar solo. Instead, the band's music offers up simple, infectious harmonies and sing-along choruses. Containing elements of pop-punk, garage-rock and early-'60s radio rock, the music doesn't blow people's minds so much as permanently lodge itself therein.

"All I Need Tonight" is a highlight of the group's eponymous 2008 debut, and as with so many great pop songs, it feels immediately familiar. It's mostly just an excuse for frontman Jesse Smith and his background singers to belt out the track's euphoric chorus — "All I need tonight is youuuuuu" — again and again. Sure, there's a marginal backstory involving a girl who isn't taking the narrator's calls, but it doesn't make a lot of sense, considering how quickly he decides to find a new woman to float his boat. Turns out you aren't the only thing he needs tonight, after all. But who cares? Young love never makes sense, so why should sublime pop?

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