Harriet Kaplan

JP Saxe @ The El Rey Theater – 11/14/2018

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jp-saxeToronto, Canadian-bred, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter JP Saxe emotionally moved his audience at a recent show at the El Rey Theater on November 14. Saxe is out promoting his latest release, Both Can Be True: Part 1. His pop/R&B accented material explores the highs and low depths of love and lust. The personal songs highlight the conflicting duality of all the difficult feelings including vulnerability in between. His haunting soulful vocals (think of Sam Smith) reflected the yearning of a complicated romance not meant to be. Ultimately, Saxe gives into the temptation. He surrenders to heady exhilaration of just throwing caution to the wind. “Screaming to Myself” and “The Few Things” were among the set’s strongest tracks.

Accompanying himself on only guitar and synths, the fair skinned and blonde haired artist managed to create intimacy and closeness with fans in the large venue. Unafraid to let his guard down or take himself too seriously, Saxe was quite self effacing as he recounted stories about his life and relationships. He managed to make people reflect inward, laugh and feel a bit uncomfortable at the same time.

JP Saxe is a good singer/songwriter and musician. He also is likable and engaging front man. The biggest drawback to the live show was a nagging sameness to the material. There wasn’t enough variation in his vocal style from one number to next. A shift in dynamics more often would have gone a long way to create more excitement musically. Otherwise, the show was well performed and entertaining.

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