David Jacobsen: Telling history through music

Album cover of Potus by David W. Jacobsen.

As President’s Day passes by, many people have disregarded the holiday as simply a nice day off, or just another Monday. However, there is so much to learn on President’s Day. It is a holiday that has a deeper history that many people overlook. Overall, there is a lot in history that people don’t seem to know about. That is why indie artist David Jacobsen has created music that tells history and a narrative. His album “POTUS” revolves around U.S. presidents that have been overlooked or were considerably awful figures. Jacobsen describes his album as “mix[ing] history with storytelling, providing a humanized view of men who have guided America for better or worse” (1).

“POTUS” opens with the track “1799,” discussing the Federalist party and other events during this time. The song opens with whimsical instrumentals that immediately pull you in. The following song, “Old Man Eloquent,” is one of my favorites. The etiquette that he is singing about is still seen today, especially amongst older politicians. There are still older male figures that are entitled and care mostly about themselves. My next favorite track, titled “Samuel Tilden’s Lament,” opens with a rock instrumental. This song mixes it up and introduces a different vibe and style to the album, following the more folkish songs. The lyrics are catchy, and I love the guitar and drums in this track. The last song of the album, “The Unforgiven,” is the perfect song to wrap up this album. This track sounds more like an ‘80s hit, starting with some captivating keyboard. I love the lyric “I am the unforgiven for forgiving you,” as that sums up the message of this last song.

Overall, upon listening to “POTUS” for the first time, I was impressed by the album’s diversity in style and genre. Songs range from rock to folk to disco, depending on the mood of the lyric and period (1). This added a different, more exciting listening experience, as no single song was like the other. They are each uniquely their own track, and I had fun listening to each one. Furthermore, the music is extremely well-produced. I was impressed by the album’s overall production. It was extremely creative and well-made.

Moreover, this album, and this type of music that Jacobsen has made, is perfect for many different people. I know that for me, I like to learn through unique methods. It is hard for me to learn the old-fashioned way and not get bored. When I get bored, it impacts how much information I retain. However, learning through music has been a method that has worked for me in the past. I have learned a lot from these songs, as they were catchy and left me actually wanting to learn more. I like that it is harder for me to forget what I have learned when Jacobsen’s unforgettable tunes are replaying in my head.

I would highly recommend this album to students who want or even need to learn more about U.S. history. Listening to this album while you study may be a good way to help you retain more information.

I would also recommend Jacobsen’s music to any person wanting to discover a new musical genre or support a smaller, indie artist. Jacobsen has different social media accounts, and his music can be listened to on Youtube, Spotify, and Apple music. Take a look and see what you end up learning!

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