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Pion-ear: Jacob Sartorius’ “Better With You”

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Pion-ear: Jacob Sartorius’ “Better With You”

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I have to admit, when I went to Jacob Sartorius’ concert in February, I went for the jokes. Here was this kid known for making cringey Musical.ly’s when he was, like, 12 coming to perform his poorly written music to a bunch of young girls at The Pageant. Oh man. Little did I know, his music is life-changing, and I am now the biggest Jacob stan of all time. To the point where people like to say I am Jacob Sartorius. As if I’m caught in this Hannah Montana type of life. I know.                         

Before I review Jacob’s fire new EP, “Better With You,” I want to put all jokes aside and say how much this young, Elvish boy has done for me in the past 9 months. After his concert, my friends and I would play his music at school to laugh at and dance to, but when I actually listened to it on my own, I realized how much I liked it. I don’t care if half of the lyrics are trash, or if he sounds like a chipmunk, or if his first name is Rolf, his songs make me happy. Rolf Jacob Sartorius really just doesn’t care what people think. He doesn’t care that his song “Sweatshirt” became a meme or that people try to hate on his songs, saying he’s too young to experience the love he expresses in “Last Text.” He doesn’t care! He keeps cranking out bangers like “Bingo” and “Hit Me Back” (featuring Blackbear, might I add) because he knows he can get millions of views and sell out shows. That attitude toward life is something that I wish I could have, and it’s why I dropped everything to listen to Jacob’s new album when it came out Nov. 2. Now 16 years old, Jacob is starting to develop his career path as a serious pop musician, and I respect it tremendously.

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Overall review:

I would give this album 5/5 stars for being a stereotypical, Jacob Sartorius pop album. In all seriousness though, it’s a big step up from his earlier music. He shows in “Better With You” that his style is maturing and so are his ideas. Sartorius carries a theme of love and the complexity of relationships through each track.

 

Track-by-track review

“Better With You”

This is the first and titular song of the EP, and rightfully so. If this song came on the radio and I didn’t know it was by Jacob Sartorius, it would’ve flown over my head like any other pop song. For Jacob, I think that’s a good thing. “Better With You” perfected the use of electronic riffs to transition between upbeat verses about becoming a better person from being around someone special. The chorus’ melody accompanies the simple lyrics perfectly: “I’m fine, so fine, but I’m even better with you.”

 

“Hooked on a Feeling”

Right away, this track pulls you in with its use of the trendy, car-shaking bass opening. When the lyrics and snap-based percussion come in, it maintains a smooth groove all the way through. Jacob sings from the heart about feeling overwhelmed with positivity toward someone he likes. When the beat drops for the chorus, “Hooked on a Feeling” transforms from a softer pop song to one suited for a dance party about a feeling of happiness everyone can relate to.

 

“We’re Not Friends”

In “We’re Not Friends,” Jacob channels some Khalid vibes with his four-chord progression that ends in a minor chord begging to be resolved. The acoustic guitar and percussions throughout the song reflect the down-to-earth sentiments he expresses through the lyrics. He sings, “Do you think I really wanna hear about him? I do it for a reason, not just to be nice.” He puts himself first in this song, possibly referencing his ex-girlfriend, Millie Bobby Brown, when he is trying to stay away from negative emotions and move on from his past with a girl. This song was a refreshing twist to Jacob’s repertoire which tends to give off an “I get all the ladies” feeling.

 

“Up With It”

Continuing his EP’s theme of love, Jacob breaks it down in this slower track. He uses a 1950s-esque chord progression on electric guitar to set a simple foundation for a song about the simple pleasures of being in love. It shows a certain sophistication and growth from his original releases that screams “play me at a wedding.”

 

“Said No One Ever”

Jacob plays on the 2013 meme “said no one ever” to open up about the bad parts of love. While the tune and melody sound happy over a mellow backing track, he wishes people were honest about missing someone or not being able to move on from someone you used to love, singing “Love don’t really hurt said no one ever.” He hits the trendy pop nail on the head in the bridge when the word “love” bounces around and echoes over the progressing percussion. Jacob does a good job at approaching a sore subject in a playful way in this song.

Love don’t really hurt said no one ever.”

“Curfew”

At this point in the EP, “Curfew” mirrors the same four-chord pop song structure with electronic percussion, and it doesn’t feel like anything new. Regardless, the lyrics really capture young love and how Jacob wants to drop everything to stay with someone, even if it means breaking their curfew. Cheesy, yes, but sweet. Since the song doesn’t drift from its beat and melody, “Curfew” would be a good song to have in the background of a dance or get-together.

 

“Problems”

Jacob makes a good choice to end the EP with the simple song “Problem” which has the same laidback feeling as “We’re Not Friends.” It opens with the chorus which has a very catchy melody and lyrics. He contrasts the positive sound with more negative lyrics, calling negative people out by singing, “The world don’t need another jerk that loves to hate” and “I’m not a violent person, but you bring it out.” It’s a message of frustration with people who need to take their negativity elsewhere that almost everyone can relate to. He even keeps it clean for his younger fans, saying “I don’t funk with problems.” The track ends with a whistled riff that leaves you feeling good when the EP is finally over.

 

Jacob has finally taken off his sweatshirt and put on his big boy quarter zip with this EP. Any pop listener should consider adding a song or two to their playlist because the lyrics and music production of each one could fit right in if played on the radio. Kudos to this Musical.ly star turned musician for doing what he loves to do and not letting others’ hate get to him. “Better With You” is available now on iTunes and any streaming service.

About the Contributor
Logan Crews, editor-in-chief



Interests: dance, karate, piano, singing, bullet journaling, camping

Favorite quote: “I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I’m...

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Pion-ear: Jacob Sartorius’ “Better With You”