So I went with my gut a few weeks ago and bought the entire Jagwar Ma album after having heard only two songs off of it (old school?). I’m glad I did, because the album is solid! Jagwar Ma does a fine job creating just enough of a hook to keep your “average” listeners interested, without losing the experimental, vibey edge that makes all of the eternally unimpressed critics wet themselves.
I debated which track to spotlight as there are several gems on this album that I would suggest. “Man I Need,” “Did You Have To” and “The Throw” tie as my favorite three.
“Man I Need” serves as the public anchor to Howlin. As previously stated, it is: with hook, yet without cheese. It’s definitely the song that captured me, and rightfully so – it’s excellent.
“The Throw” is a nearly seven minute long low-fi sounding track that reminds me (at first) of Delorean’s “Simple Graces” (amazing song, fyi), but then swirls into a complete trance – kind of makes you lose your mind in the best way possible.
“Did You Have To” wavers out of the speakers with such hesitation I find myself wanting more before the song is even a minute underway. There’s a sense of withholding in the song, quite like the lyrics suggest – this is by far the most emotional and melodically driven track of the album.
Howlin does everything all at once and seems to be perfect for both intense listening sessions as well as a causal background vibe.