“Shake a Leg Like Elvis” by Dino Jag
“Shake a Leg Like Elvis” by Dino JagWith a melodic electric guitar sizzle to lead the way, Dino Jag kick-starts a groove-happy jam in “Shake a Leg Like Elvis” that could well be the most addictive number in his growing collection of released content. Although only twenty seconds in total length, the instrumental introduction that washes over us at the start of “Shake a Leg Like Elvis” sets the mood for the song soon to follow, but it by no means clues us into just how much swaggering pop energy we’re going to discover just around the next bend. Vocals haven’t even entered the picture yet, and already Dino Jag has us on the edge of our seats, eagerly anticipating whatever bolt of lightning might befall us next in this compositionally rollercoaster-like (though ultimately accessible) riff rocker.
The vocal harmony that awaits us in the first stanza of lyrics in “Shake a Leg Like Elvis” is warm, bright, and sugary, standing in bitter conflict with the hollow instrumentation in the foreground, the most pointed of which (the guitars and drums) resonates with a gothic tone more than it does standardized adult contemporary melodies. Our attention is drawn back and forth between the verse and the less-than-virtuosic swing of the band, but it never feels like we’re absorbing a droning, unevenly arranged pop song. On the contrary, the stylistic differences that are essentially forced together in “Shake a Leg Like Elvis” allow us to appreciate the expressiveness of each component in the music; the strings, the vocals, even the bassline itself – everything here has something to contribute to the narrative.
There’s a lot of polish on this mix, but I don’t think that Dino Jag’s first well-publicized single was conceived to win our favor strictly on the strength of its sparkling production and perfectly-leveled EQ. I still detect quite a bit of grit at the bottom of the mix, alluding to a grainy, rock n’ roll edginess that desperately wants to be acknowledged amidst the swaying grooves of the drums. This isn’t an act that wants to blend in with the masses – if there’s one thing we can learn from “Shake a Leg Like Elvis,” it’s that Dino Jag wants to make music that doesn’t fit into any one specific box, instead preferring to chase unique sounds and fluid melodies that make sense to anyone who loves a balanced harmony.
“Shake a Leg Like Elvis” crosses the finish line with far fewer fireworks than it first begins with, but to be frank, it doesn’t need a fantastical conclusion to leave behind a serious statement about the musicians who gave it life in the studio. Dino Jag is, to some extent, an artist who is as true blue to the R&B-inspired pop-rock model as he is the adult contemporary pop conceptualism that produced iconic discographies like that of Steve Winwood and Bryan Adams. His sound isn’t the easiest to classify under conventional genre parameters, but this is perhaps what makes them as interesting as he is. He’s not looking to join a movement, but rather create a movement of his own through simplistic songcraft and eclectic arrangements befitting of the audience he’s looking to please.