No Vacancy

Jake Stigers

Independent release, 2006

REVIEW BY: Jason Warburg


Of all the musical ingredients needed to cook up a tasty batch of rock and roll, one of the most intangible and underappreciated is attitude.  You can have the cleanest, fattest hooks in the game, but if you can’t muster up a little snarl, a dash of wild-eyed fervor, don’t even bother, man.  It’s gonna come off flatter than a penny on a busy train track.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Of all the assets Jake Stigers bring to his game -- and there are plenty -- maybe the most appealing is attitude.  The dude just plain loves to sing, and it shows.

Stigers’ previous outing Coming Back Again found him pairing with guitarist/co-producer Nunzio Signore on a full-length album dominated by catchy, radio-ready tunes.  No Vacancy is a step forward in terms of musical range, emphasizing the southern r&b roots of his power-pop/club-rock sound.

Opener “Ride With You” is full of sass and jacked-up r & b propulsion, going for the big riff and scoring.  “End Of The World” and “Tomorrow Never Comes” are a little darker and heavier, but don’t neglect melody while throwing off sparks.  The ballad “She’s A Woman” might not have the most original lyrics, but the acoustic guitar and mandolin riffs are so sweet you hardly notice. And “House Of Your Own” and “Slow Time” show a gospel influence in the vocal arrangements even as the lyrics bring greater emotional depth to the proceedings.

The standout highlight here, though, is the one cover Stigers throws in, a swaggering, completely infectious run through John Hiatt’s “Riding With The King.”  Hiatt has written a lot of songs that have been made into hits by others; Stigers deserves his turn with this exuberant take on a classic.

It’s that swagger that separates Stigers from the pack, and makes both Coming Back Again and now No Vacancy eminently worthy of your time and attention.  You’ve been warned.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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