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“Reid Jenkins’ ‘Hall of Gems’: A Symphony of Soul-Searching and Sonic Splendor”


Reid Jenkins didn’t just release an album with “Hall of Gems”; he let us into a personal world where every melody tells a story. This isn’t merely a blend of musical genres; it’s a heartfelt confession set to a tune. Imagine the delicate intricacy of baroque pop, the unvarnished truth of indie folk, and the contemporary zing of synth-pop all intertwined. It’s as though Jenkins has taken the most stirring moments of his life, from his earliest memories coaxing melodies from a violin to his days refining his craft in the halls of Columbia, and distilled them into this album. Each track feels like it’s been lived in, worn and warmed by Jenkins’ own experiences.

The album’s intro, “Giant Aster,” is like the first page of this musical diary, setting the tone for the introspection to follow. Jenkins’ voice acts as a beacon, guiding us through an auditory landscape that’s both lush and expansive. It’s an invitation to take a moment, to breathe and to be enveloped by his world. And as the album progresses through songs like “Living Right” and “Changes,” we’re taken on a rollercoaster of rhythms and emotions, only to be brought back to a gentle introspection with “Over the Telephone,” which feels like a heart-to-heart conversation with Jenkins himself.

Jenkins doesn’t shy away from the shadows in his songs, either. “Hall of Gems” is like a soulful dialogue about the twists and turns of life’s journey. It’s not just about catchy hooks; it’s about capturing that universal sense of searching for something more, something that’s often just out of reach. In the track “North Star,” Jenkins offers a musical metaphor for the yearning for guidance—a beacon amid the chaos of everyday life. It’s these themes that strike a chord, making the album resonate on a deeper, more universal level.

Growing up surrounded by music, Jenkins’ authenticity isn’t just in his sound—it’s in his very being. There’s a vulnerability that comes through, a rawness that can’t be taught. His classical training has given him a broad palette from which to paint, but it’s his personal touch that brings the colors to life. His music is approachable, almost conversational, as if each song is a shared secret between Jenkins and the listener.

“Hall of Gems” is, in many ways, a musical expedition. Jenkins isn’t just revisiting his roots—he’s charting new territories, fusing the acoustic with the electronic, the traditional with the experimental. It’s as if with each song, he’s exploring a new part of his musical landscape, inviting the listener to come along for the ride. The album flows like a river, sometimes calm and reflective with songs like “Last Love,” sometimes rushing and full of life with tracks like “Summer Rains.” Each song is a landmark on Jenkins’ journey, marking a path of personal evolution and artistic growth.

“Hall of Gems” is a companion for those wanderings of the soul, a guidebook in melodic form. 

Jenkins doesn’t just sing songs; he offers solace, a sense of understanding, and a reflection of our own journeys. This collection of songs is a sanctuary for anyone who’s ever felt adrift, offering a sonic embrace to the wanderers and the wonderers. In the end, it’s a reminder that the most valuable gems are often hidden, waiting to be uncovered within the depths of our own experiences and stories.

This review was made possible by SubmitHub