Kara Jackson: “Dickhead Blues” Track Review

There is an important part of the Book of Genesis that is easy to miss. Right after God cursed women with painful childbirth, he spewed an even worse fate: falling in love with jerks. God knows those men are charming at first. Then his wit turns into sarcasm that lowers your self-esteem. A century of weariness creeps into your voice, as if you’ve crossed the western border with nothing but the clothes on your back and a Billie Holiday record on the jukebox.

This is the spirit of Kara Jackson’s “Dickhead Blues,” a bitter and hilarious read of douchebag lovers spitting out empty promises and “taking a vacation with you.” The Chicago singer-songwriter’s voice is so mournful, so tired, that listening to it could make a cigarette magically appear between your fingers. The instrumentation is initially sparse, as Jackson identifies her problem as pretentious coffee-drinking men—”coyotes in culottes,” she says. But the song veers toward self-assertion: “I’m no longer amused by losers realizing they’re losing me,” taking flight in the second half as the drums swell, the strings swell, and the xylophone flickers. “I’m pretty top-notch,” Jackson concludes, eventually giving up caring for the neglected.

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