There is a subgenre of rock music that incorporates soft highly produced beats, cottony vocals, and well-intentioned lyrics of love, maybe God, and/or the excitement of life. Gavin Degraw crafted an entire career out of it with his sugary pop approach to music. John Mayer, Jason Mraz, and Eric Hutchinson all revolve around the emblematic softness of their musical style. ‘Dino Jag’ takes this approach to equally grand lengths. He channels the vocal harmonies of any of his peers for an effective and more indie approach to the musical happiness that seems to resonate so well with this well-mannered bunch.
Dino Jag’s greatest contribution to the musical canon is certainly ‘Calling all the Saints.’ On one level, it is a Biblically proportioned call to arms. All religious aspects aside, the song is a direct support to those who were affected so devastatingly by the earthquake in 2010. If you have a hard time remembering this event, than this song is for you. The event left 1.5 million inhabitants homeless, and killed 300,000. In case this tally hasn’t hit home, just about every family in the entire country of Haiti was torn apart in some fashion. It is the spirit of the inhabitants which keeps it all alive.
Sales of ‘Calling All the Saints’ go right to supporting the families in the country, making it a useful song on a practical level. Instrumentally, it’s a contagiously likable song, with a powerful lead hook and a brilliant showcasing of Dino Jag’s vocal prowess.
It is hard to really segue from such a terrible disaster into a discussion about music, but the resonance of Dino Jag’s music is its apparent sincerity and focus. The songs seem to hold a purpose beyond just whining about crap. Dino Jag is under the ‘Music For Good; collaborative which harnesses the influence of musicians to raise attention and funding for those in need in many ways and places. With this association, and the ‘Calling All Saints’ track, as well as the obviously endearing lyrics riddling all his music, Dino jag is an artist that certainly places emphasis on purpose over marketing and specific songwriting.
This is not to say that the music is poor or inferior. Dino Jag crafts elegantly profound and simple music, yet maintains a semblance of fun and approachability. The result is an artist that makes solid tunes with a purpose, and it is that purpose that drives him to create the music all the better. Instead of the music driving the message, it is the message driving the music. The distinction is paramount. Dino jag is an artist with a point.
Ryan Merkel is a cool writer guy and contributor all over the internet, from blogs on music to magazines about music to sites about playing music. He is currently founder of SunState Investing and is head editor of the music entertainment magazine, CultureTease. He has written two novels, and is currently working on a third full-length novel, surprisingly, not about music. His novel “Splatter the Noise” earned accolades for independent publishing. Be sure to check out: www.sunstateinvesting.com
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