I’ve been listening to this collection more lately and I’m starting to notice things lyrically and musically that remind me of other Lifehouse songs/eras. I started writing this post as kind of an A:B comparison to try and place when these songs might have been written by LH album era but it sort of turned into a review.
Ambien (4/5) - I’m guessing this one was written around NNF/SCF. The big acoustic sound in the intro reminds me a bit of NNF and the chorus has hints of The Beginning. Easily one of the best in this collection IMO. Ambien is a sedative used to treat insomnia which is mentioned a couple of times through this collection of demos.
What You’re Looking For (4/5) - I love the effects (wah/reverb?) on the guitars on this track. Reminds me of the effects they used during the DLD/NNF days (even into SCF).
Fool Who Sticks Around (3/5) - Lyrically and musically, this reminds me a bit of the yellow record era. Not my favorite but it’s a good song.
Never Going Back (4/5) - I can’t place this one in the Lifehouse timeline. I could see this being on a soundtrack at some point in the early/mid-2000s. Definitely a good track!
Read Between the Lines (2/5) - I’m getting slight yellow record vibes on this one but lyrically, I feel like it may be an older track. It’s one of my least favorites out of them all.
So Much to Lose (5/5) - I can’t really place this to a specific Lifehouse era. I couldn’t really see it on a LH record (probably why it never was?) but could see this as another soundtrack song or maybe Paper Cuts era. Regardless, this is hands down one of my favorite solo Jason tracks of all time. Lyrically, it’s excellent. It’s heartfelt and relatable. I love the simplicity of the music with the lead coming in at various points without being overwhelming. That short interlude is really beautiful… best track in this collection!
All the Same (3/5) - I wish I could make out more of the lyrics (that bridge is a mystery). I’d say the lyrics on this one are the weakest in the bunch though. I gave this an extra star because of the music and vocals; it’s good - just not great.
The Place That I Fit In (5/5) - This one is good. Old school Blyss good. The Edge good. In fact, this may be from that same time period. The chorus’ chord progression is very “The Edge” and the last few notes at the very end remind me of the effects used on it as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if he played this at Malibu Vineyard to be honest with the subtle nod to a creator: “I know who is controlling my existence / And that's not something I'm not gonna fight”.
Complete with the “la da da” interlude (à la Crown of Scars), vocals on this sound like they may have been recorded a while ago as well which adds even more nostalgia to this gem!
Sleeping With the Lights On (4/5) - I actually like the effects on the vocals for once! It gives the song kind of a “concept” feel if that makes any sense? Another song with references to insomnia. Vocal effects aside, I can’t place this in the Lifehouse timeline. The keyboard/bass lean me towards WWA-era. I could see him doing this solo live during that tour.
Remember Me (4/5) - This one feels really polished, even more than some of the newer non-demo releases. It also feels newer than most of the other tracks here but all the while retaining a classic JW solo vibe.
Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
Some are more “demo” than others but these are the most polished demos I’ve probably heard from any artist with several tracks sounding like they could be masters. Lyrically, there’s a few gems and So Much to Lose & The Place That I Fit In take the cake.