Jackson Ulmer, a 17-year-old musician from Alabama, contacted me asking to do a review of his new EP “Shades of Blue”. I agreed, unsure of what the future might hold. I was nervous that everything would be negative and I wouldn’t like the music one bit. After all, what could a 17-year-old kid possibly do well? Seeing as I myself was a 17-year-old kid last year, I didn’t have the highest of expectations. But when the mind bar is set that low, it isn’t hard to reach the quota. Jackson Ulmer did far more than that.
The first song on the EP, “Up In The Air”, wasn’t my favorite track on the album. There were some pretty cool trumpets every now and then, but other than that it seemed pretty basic and predictable. However, the further I got into the album the more I noticed things I liked- throughout the EP, there were some pretty dope bass lines (and more trumpets) that definitely caught my eye. While through most of the album the guitars stayed fairly Garageband-y, the lyrics and melodies kept getting better and better. By the time it had reached “Old Times,” the second to last track on the EP, I was really enjoying myself. Every song is catchy, and while the guitars remained fairly predictable throughout the album, I definitely have to say that I like it a lot. The lyrics to “Old Times” and “Shades of Blue” spoke deeply to me, and redeemed any negative quality the EP could possibly have. Jackson Ulmer highly exceeded my expectations and I’m very excited to see what potential he will unlock in the future.