CD Review: Jesse Dee – Bittersweet Batch (7not Records)

From the picture of this paler than pale, whiter than white dude on the back cover in white shirt and skinny black tie, you would think this CD to be filled with quirky new wave or power pop. Instead, what you get is one of the best underground, under-the-radar soul-pop albums to come out in a long time. Though it’s obvious Dee is a fan of soul singers such as Don Covay, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, and artists of that ilk, instead of aping them as is most of the neo-soul brigade today, Dee takes them and filters their influence through his own sensibilities and manages to make a great CD the guys in Maroon 5 would envy.

Though Dee’s music is definitely grittier than that band, he doesn’t remove the pop sensibility and therefore, some of these songs would sound absolutely great on the radio, except for the slightly low-budget production values. For those who love soul and aren’t afraid to venture into some weird places to get it, Jesse Dee’s new album might make for a very fruitful discovery.