By Erin Caine
Elm Staff Writer
Actor and singer Jesse McCartney’s visit to Washington College on Friday was preceded by his appearances at a number of other campus venues on his 2017 college tour.
“I’ve been touring colleges the past few years because that’s where my best and most loyal fans are these days. It’s always amazing [to be reunited with long-time fans],” McCartney said in a note on his website.
Indeed, anyone who remembers him most vividly from his early career (including his guest appearances on the Disney shows “Hannah Montana” and “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody”) can’t help but feel a little nostalgic when listening to “Beautiful Soul.” That sense of nostalgia seems to be a large source of McCartney’s popularity amongst a crowd of twenty-somethings who grew up in the earlier part of the 2000s.
The pop sensation, now 30, started his career in acting, landing a part in the daytime drama “All My Children” in 1998. After that, he was in a short-lived boy band by the name of Dream Street for a couple of years before it disbanded and he pursued his music career as a solo artist. Since 2004, he’s released four studio albums, the most recent being “In Technicolor.” The album begins with “In Technicolor Pt. 1,” a concise and mellow opener that showcases McCartney’s impressive falsetto, before jumping into “Back Together,” the album’s first single. The song is all energy where the previous track was all serenity, accentuated by a ‘70s disco groove that comes complete with a punchy brass band and prominent bass line. Meanwhile, “Young Love” tries out a syncopated synth in its verses that’s pulled straight out of a 1980s alternative hit.
Billboard’s Jason Lipshutz described “In Technicolor” as a “fresh, throwback sound,” and though this might seem like an oxymoron, the phrase seems to suit McCartney perfectly. Though he takes advantage of retro styles and instrumentation in his songwriting, the songs are still smooth and polished works of modern pop. Just as he appeals to the feelings of nostalgia when booking his touring schedule, so too does he have these feelings in mind when writing songs.