April 29, 2023
Photo by Ilaria Conte.

The American performer Jesse Malin is an inspirational singer, guitarist and song writer who first came to prominence with the New York hardcore band Heart Attack before moving onto D Generation. He now has a flourishing solo career as well as being much sought after by other musicians and when you have collaborated with the legendary Bruce Springsteen then you know you are well respected by your peers.

The Fine Art Of Self Destruction was Malin’s debut solo album and was originally put out in 2002 and, incidentally, also featured the renowned artist Ryan Adams on guitar, backing vocals and production duties. Malin has now seen fit to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the record by re-releasing it in expanded format with the original work alongside newly re-recorded versions which sees him reinterpreting the songs that his many fans already adore. The music is raw, emotional, introspective and personal as Malin allows us to look into his soul as he lays bare the events of his troubled life for what must have been a very cathartic experience for him.

The original work is still relevant and hard hitting and sits very comfortably alongside the richer versions which Malin has re-recorded with his current band making this a very valid release and it really is difficult to decide which tracks are better. For sure, the earlier work has the raw energy but a little bit of polish also works very well when it comes to the new versions so you pay your money and you take your choice but all are most enjoyable.

Jesse Malin falls very much into the same category as artists like Springsteen, Neil Young, James Taylor and Tom Petty and it is very easy to see why he is so valued by artists and fans alike.

Downliner

CD1

  1. Queen of the Underworld (3:42)
  2. TKO (3:27)
  3. Wendy (3:27)
  4. Downliner (4:10)
  5. Brooklyn (4:35)
  6. The Fine Art of Self Destruction (3:54)
  7. Riding On The Subway (4:13)
  8. High Lonesome (4:05)
  9. Solitaire (4:19)
  10. Almost Grown (3:04)
  11. Xmas (3:30)
  12. Cigarettes and Violets (4:05)

CD2

  1. Brooklyn (Walt Whitman in the Trash) (4:57)
  2. Riding on the Subway ’22 (4:22)
  3. Downliner (Afterglow Version) (4:24)
  4. High Lonesome (PBR Vacation) (4:31)
  5. Cigarettes and Violets ’22 (4:23)
  6. Almost Grown (Busker Version) (3:04)
  7. Solitaire (Song for Kelly Keller) (4:20)
  8. Queen of the Underworld (Cantina Version) (3:52)
  9. Xmas, etc. (3:43)