Review Summary: So, how much do you love this album as a whole?
It's been said by many that 'Jane Doe' is a crowning achievement in the music industry, displaying passion and emotion in its lyrics. The idea that Jane Doe, an unnamed man (or woman in this case) is having to suffer through, in this case, the results of a relationship coming to an end, is one that many would be quick to associate themselves with, and be even quicker to defend the content within this record. But the problem does not lie within the lyrical content. The lyrical content is brilliant throughout the fourty-five minute run time of the album. Nor does it lie with the instrumental that accompanies it; rather, it's the hectic and at times incoherent way the songs are transmitted to the listener that may see many be ready to cut the music and listen to something more tolerable.
The album is amazing, there is no question about that. But it's the way the album tries to bring across its emotion. Sure, this is the opposite when the lyrics and the lyrical content are brought into the picture; penned by songwriter and vocalist Jacob Bannon, it tells a tale of emotional hardship and the fallout of such. It paints a painfully true picture for many, and those very people will associate with the album more than others. But this is where the problem lies; it tries too hard to evoke emotion out of a specific listener when it should be catering to a larger audience.
Although that last comment will leave many with torches and pitchforks raised, ready to be at my doorstep within minutes, it's true in every way. The album relies too much on its lyrical content to convince the listener to associate with it, rather than having the listener actually understand it. Even as I listen to 'Jane Doe' as I write this review, and having listened to it many times over, I struggle to make coherent sense out of the high-pitched scream that is emitted from Bannon's lungs without having to search the internet for not only the lyrics, but the meaning behind them.
But even after all of that is said, the album is still listenable. Take away the scream, and the album is well-crafted. The dual-guitar does well in keeping the tracks fresh and varied, and the bass line that accompanies the hectic and well-performed drums help steady each song, more so than that of the guitars. But the scream that accompanies each track leaves the listener feeling off-put. The listener is more attracted to the vocals than other parts of the album.
That is the reason why the album is both good and bad; the instrumental and lyricism within the album is so well though-out and transmitted to the listener that it's completely counteracted by the high-pitched scream performed by Bannon. And although that is the only negative thing surrounding the album, it is such a major 'problem' that the listener would be turned off by 'Jane Doe' just on the way the lyrics are brought across alone.