Should You Stream JVKE’s New Album?

Daniel Lee, Staff Writer

One-hit wonder. Just another TikTok artist. This is what many people including myself thought of the artist JVKE when he first entered the music industry. However, with his continued release of hit songs and the release of his new album “this is what ____ feels like (Vol. 1-4)”, he’s starting to change my mind.


Jake Lawson (JVKE) is not just a one-hit wonder, he’s an artist on the rise that releases songs that are catchy, relatable, and appealing to the younger generation.


But is his new album really that good?


Let’s start from the beginning of his career. In 2020, Lawson released his first official song called “Upside Down”, which currently has 93,866,060 streams on Spotify. This song blew up on TikTok and the sound was used in all different kinds of videos across the platform. From here, Lawson gained a fanbase along with momentum to grow his musical career.


And he didn’t stop. In 2021, Lawson released yet another hit song called “this is what falling in love feels like” which also blew up on TikTok and has currently accumulated 207,323,817 streams on Spotify. It’s one of those songs you can listen to on a joyride, while taking a walk on a sunny day, or just daydreaming about your crush. 


Lawson’s new album, released on September 23, 2022, is a continuation of this song, telling a story of both experiencing love and heartbreak. The album starts off with the iconic “this is what falling in love feels like”, an upbeat and exciting opening song to the album. It then features a new song called “moon and back” which currently has 57,908 streams on Spotify. In this song, Lawson sings about loving his special someone “to the moon and back”, almost like a love letter in the form of a song. He reassures the person that he will always be there for them, and how they remind him of the moon, the stars, and just how bright they shine. Next up is a song Lawson released on July 15, 2022, “golden hour”. This ethereal song already has 57,019,579 streams on Spotify and Lawson sings about how brightly his significant other shines in their golden hour, and how he loves spending every minute of his time with them. 


Then, the album completely takes a 180-degree turn, ending “golden hour” with the piano riff that was played in the beginning turning melancholic and gloomy. This piano riff continues to the next song “this is what heartbreak feels like”, which was released on April 1, 2022, and currently has 33,591,394 streams on Spotify. This song is like the counterpart to “this is what falling in love feels like” and Lawson sings about how his trust was betrayed, how he got cheated on, and his anger and frustration that the love was never real. The next few songs “i’m not okay”, “ghost town”, and “this is what sadness feels like” are about dealing with the heartbreak, the loneliness, and the sadness that came along with losing someone so important. 


The album then slightly transitions once again to songs that are about moving on, accepting the breakup, and yet wondering if the person would still be there for him when he needed them, with “wonder if she loves me”, “save your breath”, “this is what falling out of love feels like, and “catch me”. Lawson sings about moving out of the depressive phase and reflecting/reminiscing on the past. And finally, the album ends with “i can’t help it”, a song he released just one month ago on August 25, 2022. This song is an instant switch, being very upbeat and exciting as Lawson sings about how he can’t help falling in love again. Listening to “this is what falling in love feels like” right after “i can’t help it” seems natural, and I realized that the whole album was a cycle of falling in and out of love.


JVKE has come very far with his musical career and this album exhibits his growth and talent that has shocked me and people all across the world. This album was amazing to listen to, as the whole thing felt like a story that was connected through each piece. He did this masterfully, bringing back the same piano riff played in “golden hour” multiple times but in a different key each time to depict a different mood. No matter which stage of love someone might be in, there are songs in this album for them to listen to. However, there is always room for Lawson to grow. His first official release was just two years ago, and while his music has become so much better, something to note is that his lyrics are pretty simple. As soon as a song starts, you know exactly what he’s going to sing about and most of the lyrics are just repeated throughout the whole song. This can make his songs feel repetitive as the songs lack flavor and complexity. It’s like a Hershey’s chocolate bar, it tastes good but you wouldn’t eat too many because it’s the same over and over again. This doesn’t mean that his songs are bad in any way, this is just something that I think he could improve on for future songs.


So, finally, to answer the question of whether or not you should listen to “this is what ___ feels like”. I’d say yeah, why not? A lot of the songs in this album evoke strong emotions and there are so many different songs that you can listen to, whether you’re deep in love, dealing with a breakup, missing someone, and so on. If you’re like me and thought that JVKE was a cookie-cutter TikTok artist, just know that he’s headed to break free from this label as he grows his musical career. There may still be some aspects that are boring about him and his new album too, but it’s undeniable that his music is good, so go stream his new album!