Jack Goldstein - The World Is Ending and I Love U (Album Review)

War in Ukraine, inflation, rising temperatures, and a widening political divide between left and right. One has many reasons to feel an apocalyptic dread when considering our outlook. On "The World Is Ending And I Love U", Margate-based musician Jack Goldstein hosts a cast of collaborators to create a remarkably zesty concept album teeming with ideas, joy, and meticulous attention to detail that serves as an antidote to existential hopelessness.

"Tru Love Part One" opens with the seemingly scripted telephone message of "I heard you're working on an album of love, family, and hope.", expediently laying out the album's theme; love as escape in times of crisis. Goldstein's optimistic, bubblegum chorus ("True love, it's a beautiful morning, never gonna let you go.") explodes in true hyperpop fashion. There are moments in the cohesive amalgam of disparate elements, the shock-to-the-system transitions, that recall Ye-era "Yeezus". Spliced-up samples, and pitched vocals erratically shift between dichotomous musical passages. Though there are hip-hop elements in the sample and beat-heavy production, this is a pop record true-and-true, built around hooks and production so sweet it should come with a warning. 

"LA$$O" has all the class of Animal Collective in its frantic and incendiary chorus and is an undeniably awesome art-pop banger, and one of the best songs I've heard all year. Though epic, and catchier than covid, theatrics and profanity make "dreams" the sole misstep here. "heaven" is a resplendent track, soothing in its ambient gush and with a lovely vocal contribution from Clementine Blue. Voice-recorded messages are threaded throughout, with Goldstein's friend offering some exposition; "How are you doing with your mum and dad and all that?"

"(((((((SAILIN))))))" is a dreamy exploration of optimism, with Goldstein proclaiming; "We're going to let love through" before shredding on an electric guitar and belting out a soulful refrain of "the love we had will never die". Talk about passion. "TRU LOVE PART TWO" is a mysterious piece that marries symphonic strings with sporadic and experimentally engineered pop vocals. "broadstairs beach part two" is a rock-infused industrial pop song that sounds like what would have happened had Brian Wilson been a millennial with Ableton. Elsewhere, °ƸӜƷ•butterflies•.ƸӜƷ• is a tuneful burst of acoustic songwriting and distorted pop-soul, further expounding on the escapist qualities of love, "Love, did you ever f*cking feel it?" This celebration of love is present throughout the album, like on the innocent and joyous "across the water". The closing track "SARAH JONES" is a surprising garage/rock/funk pastiche that leads to an all-out veneration of love, quoting "God Only Knows" by the Beach Boys as grandiose strings sweep in the background. Perhaps it's my cynical side, but I don't believe in love. It's just nature's trick to get us to reproduce, innit? Claiming love to be a panacea for all fears is not something, thematically, I can dig; great tune, though.

AI-powered death robots aside, the notion we are living in end times has forever been the modern thought. Things will always be tumultuous, that's the nature of life, and as Jack Goldstein knows, there's no use getting hung up on things. We might as well experiment like there's no tomorrow and throw genres and ideas into a blender to see what comes out. In the end, love conquers all, even if you don't want it to. Though it may be a tad self-referential and sentimental for some, "The World Is Ending And I Love U" is a variegated reminder to love and live life to the fullest served on a veritable smorgasbord of sound. A-pop-calyptic.


Jack Goldstein - The World Is Ending And I Love You (Album Review)
Reviewed by Jay Honeycomb on June 24 2022
Rating: 4.5