It’s been a couple years in between releases for Jacob Whitesides, but the Tennessee singer-songwriter has returned sounding stronger, more confident and has matured after the well deserved break. After leaving his major label to go independent he has done a little soul searching and has experimented with his sound to represent his personal change and growth. ‘Whole’ is the perfect revival as it uses his pop roots as a base and builds this alternative and electronic experimentation on top. Using his underrated previous single ‘Killing Me’ as a reference, he dials down the aggression and gets a little more reflective and transcendent with the dreamy synths.
Building a smooth and dreamy production, everything about this song is super slick. It has a retrospective vibe to it which isn’t always easy to pull off without sounding too dated or too gimmicky. But he’s found the perfect in-between. The reflective track reflects on trying to go into a relationship when you’re still not completely over someone and feeling broken from your last attempt at love. It’s an honest and relatable concept that has some quotable lyrics that are too perfect. “I guess it took breaking to know. Two broken halves don’t make a whole”.
Mixing in some cool electronic samples, he builds this song up to be a really slick and polished track full of experimentation. The outro leaves the song in a really versatile way that could’ve been brought back and given one final chorus with bigger synths. When I hear the outro, I imagine this big pop moment like Madonna’s ‘Get Together’ or ‘Sorry’ with the way it could’ve been revived from it’s fade out to give you one unexpected final bang. But otherwise Whitesides has smashed it out of the park with this mature and sensual comeback.