Photo Credit: Jaden Hossler
Tik Tok star and former Sway House member Jaden Hossler is the latest to make the transition from the popular video app, to releasing music under the moniker jxdn. He follows in the footsteps of other Tik Tok influencers such as Addison Rae, Dixie D’Amelio, and Chase Hudson (Lil Huddy). Hossler was the first artist signed to Travis Barker’s DTA record label, and his debut album Tell Me About Tomorrow is yet another signal of the pop-punk resurgence in 2021. Barker’s influence can be heard throughout the course of the album and collaborations with Machine Gun Kelly and iann dior only emphasize the overall sound.
Tell Me About Tomorrow opens with an 11-second phone call from Barker in which he announces plans to sign Hossler to his label, and provides an optimistic prediction about his future as an artist. The official opening track “PILLS” slams the listener in the face with punk guitar riffs and declarations of being a rockstar. In fact, the phrase “rockstar” is uttered no less than 16 times on the album. The song is exactly what you might expect, a relatively catchy song that gives no depth into who Hossler is as an artist. Songs like this one are expected on an album, but Hossler does not give anyone a deeper look into who he is on any of the other tracks either. Instead, he shows us who he wants to become. We’ve always heard that it’s better to show than tell, but Hossler has no qualms in telling us just what he wants to be.
At a run-time of 44-minutes, Tell Me About Tomorrow is well within the average length for a debut, but still seems to drag out longer than it should. With no sonic or thematic diversity to break up the album, each song blends together in e-boy, angst-ridden glory. Mental health has become a hot topic recently and Hossler is not shy in talking about his experiences on multiple songs. However, the emotional “confessions” on songs like “WANNA BE” are lackluster and only show Hossler generalizing about how he wants to be “alright” and “okay.” “I’ve been lying out loud // I’ve been feeling real down,” he sings on “F*CKED UP.” Lyrically, it doesn’t pack that strong of a punch and the refusal to change tempo and do a true acoustic song causes these sentiments to get lost in the beat.
Eventhough much of the album falls short, there are always some redeeming factors. Hossler’s vocals are able to mold to any situation, sounding anywhere from hopeful and bright, to raspy and despairing. Despite being repetitive, the production and instrumentation are fun and upbeat, making the album great to scream and dance along to. While Tell Me About Tomorrow isn’t a breakthrough album by any means, Hossler has cultivated a solid fanbase and platform for him to explore his sound in his up-and-coming career. Hopefully, we’ll get to hear more from Hossler himself in his next few releases and not what he thinks he should be.