Jack Price released his first original body of work, too far gone, and the EP consists of six songs that represent the singer’s tagline “happy sad music.” The idea of side-by-side of grief-stricken lyrics to a dance-y upbeat melody has long interested me, and Price summarizing the genre as “happy sad music” is definitely the correct lens to experience this project with. A little background on this guy: Jack received his first break in music this year when OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder offered notes and praise on Jack’s first ever single, “Super 8” in a viral video. This particular EP is a yearlong journal entry about processing the end of a long-term romantic relationship.
The story begins with the EP cover: The girl looking at the guy, leaning & trying to see his face, while the guy (Jack) is very much NOT looking at the girl, his face turned away from hers rather dramatically. Art is intentional, nothing is random. The EP overall delivers on its “happy sad music” promise. As a relatively newer artist, I assume that Jack Price is still trying to find his mix of pleasing a target audience and pushing himself artistically, so this debut is not the final say-so of his sound. Price quotes that his goal was to “capture the bittersweet, nostalgic feeling you get at the end of a chapter.” With that, the project delivers on its promise, but that’s about all it does for me.
This project credits two other individuals in its writing and production: Aaron Brohman and Caleb Hulin. They have writing or production credits on all of the songs except the production of “super 8,” which Price is solely responsible for. Between the two of them, they have worked with Demi Lovato, Sofia Carson, Liam Payne (yes, of One Direction), Johnny Orlando, Why Don’t We and more. That is telling of the strengths and stylings of these two creatives, and knowing their roster is an important preface. A highlight includes the aforementioned self-produced single “super 8.” I can very much imagine this playing in the background of a video edit of a lovesick Stefan and Elena during Season 1 of The Vampire Diaries. That is a compliment, really.
Price’s lyrics show an immense potential that by no means should be ignored; aesthetically satisfying and paints a lovely image of a very pure time. The songs blend together very cohesively, almost too cohesively. A story with punchy, clean production. It’s also clear that Price is focusing on writing catchy theme music, the background to video edits, and appealing to the pathos of a TikTok watching community. It’s possible for a musically pretentious individual to look down on this kind of music: It isn’t deep, it doesn’t make you think about it for days and dissect lyric by lyric, and it doesn't document horrendous abuse. It doesn’t make you want to go to your local coffee shop wearing your good black turtleneck and write poetry about everything wrong in the world; because Price didn’t do this for the Tarantino’s of the music scene. A young person with a young heartache can find themselves in this EP, and that’s important and much overlooked. These kids don’t need to hear Fiona Apple or Bon Iver deep cuts, they need to hear “happy sad music” instilling that it is possible to live after your crush ignores you in the hallway.