Every generation yearns to have a voice, someone that will speak for them and summarize exactly how they feel. This is no different in comedy, as many of the voices of our generation have been comedians, each with something they feel is important to say about what generation they’re choosing to represent. Well, working backwards, funny folker Drew Jacobs hopes to be that voice for the baby boomers.
On his third and latest album, Selfie Absorbed, Jacobs observes life from an aging hipster’s perspective – minus the handlebar mustaches and avocado film festivals. Like Arlo Guthrie meeting Al Yankovic, Jacobs decries the trials of growing older in today’s modern world in 12 succinct tracks of humorous tunes ranging from the simplistic (“There’s an App for That”) to the outrageous (“Senior Center Battle of the Bands”).
While the upstate New Yorker is best known for more acoustic compositions (as heard on SiriusXM radio and The Dr. Demento Show), the tracks on this album play a bit more with fuller orchestrations. The opener, “Your Body Is My Hobby” is a plodding rockabilly-esque track extolling typical male pastimes beyond just fishing or model trains, while “Let’s Get Out of Here” is a rockin’ Elvis style tribute to retirement.
Jacobs writes about what he thinks is funny personally, and a lot of his songs reflect that. Whether it’s finding the humor in bad relationships (“Second Prize” and “Doin’ Everything Wrong”), or the specifics of the holidays (“Climate Change Christmas” and “Gave it Up for Lent”), he takes them all on with a certain charm that makes him and his songs just so very likeable.
Jacobs is a very competent musician, and his skill as a performer is expertly showcased in the album’s two live tracks, which also are the two biggest stand outs of the album. “Strip Club Christmas Eve” may be a “by-the-numbers” premise for a comedy song, but Jacobs delivers it with such a genuine reverence for the material you can’t help but laugh along with his audience. The same can be said for what is arguably the best song on the album (and the oldest, as it was originally released back in 2014), “If 50’s the New 30.”
Jacobs even tries his hand at parodies, taking on Janis Ian (“Nearly Seventeen,” about the number of bags of leaves in his yard) and the Beatles (“You Ought to Throw Those Clubs Away,” opining a bad golf game). It’s his clever lyrics about slice-of-modern-life observations and his sly, simplistic instrumentation that endears him and his music to the listener. It’s like “Dad Jokes: The Musical” – just a comfortable, friendly guy sharing a goofy song.