“You make this machine run”—that is the praise Jared Salvatore has attributed to his local fans, who have stood with him throughout the production of his most recent album, Compass Out. It’s clear how much respect and gratitude Salvatore has for his supporters, and he’s done his best to craft a record worthy of their appreciation.

The album kicks off with “Helplessly Wasted,” a track whose lyrics and music were composed by Salvatore himself. His halcyon vocals create a sensation of comfort, and the entire composition feels… just right. The guitar and synth aren’t overpowering, and the listening experience is both reassuring and soothing. “Fire” introduces a second vocalist to accompany Salvatore, Rebecca Muiri, but he sounds his best when he’s singing all on his own. The background music appears to be a bit toned down here and as such, greater emphasis is placed on the duet’s chorus. “My Love” makes an explicit reference to the title of the album, and here the listener is able to appreciate the effort the songwriter has placed in his lyrics. He compares the search for love to having a “compass out, map in hand,” and certainly for some, that is exactly what this search is—an expedition, a journey.

There is contrast to be found in comparison with the rest of the album in just the first 10 seconds of “Grounded.” Here, we have the piano and violin in place of the previously ever-present guitar, and the effect is evident. The soft-pedaled track encourages one to simply let go, and be at one with yourself and the status quo.

The best parts of Compass Out are when Salvatore sings by himself—his voice is just that good. The tranquil presence he has and the positive influence he boasts on every track is just a joy to behold.

In A Word: Mollifying

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