JVKE, also known as Jake Dodge Lawson, is a rising pop star that blew up on TikTok. He went from making videos with his mom to making his first ever album and going on tour around the United States. You could say things are going great for him.
Jake started making TikTok videos back in 2020 when COVID was still a huge risk and everyone was forced to stay home. Because we all had to stay home, he would make videos with his mom at their house. They were both into making music and at the time they would make music out of TikTok sounds.
Jake would usually start the video by asking his mom, “Hey mom. Have you heard of this TikTok sound before?” Then they would take that sound and make a full song out of it. It blew up instantly! Each video would gain 15 million views or more and close to 2 million likes. It wasn’t until one video blew up like crazy. This video would feature what would eventually become his first single upside down. The video ended up accumulating 6.1 million likes and 45.6 million views. People loved it! They loved it so much that they wanted him to release it as a full song, so he did. upside down popped off. It was at this moment, everything changed.
JVKE was born.
Jake would go on to release a few more singles after upside down that just kept on getting better and better. It wasn’t until September 23, 2022 when Jake released his first full album this is what ____ feels like. This album has 2 sides to it: this is what falling in love feels like and this is what falling out of love feels like. You could say this album is for the people that are in love with someone, and for the people who were cheated on by someone. Considering this was his first ever album, it was a huge hit!
Months after the album was released, Jake would announce that he would be going on tour for the first time.
Track 1: this is what falling in love feels like
“Feel like sun, on my skin, so this is love, I know it is.”
This song is all about that warm feeling you get when you’re falling in love with someone. You want to forget about the past and just live the life you never had. Whoever it is that you love, they make you feel some kind of way. You can’t explain it but it really does feel like the sun hitting your skin. That warm cozy feeling that everything is alright. This is one of the most iconic songs that he has. This was originally a single that has now been put on the album but best believe everyone still loves it. From the violin for an intro to the chords of the piano and his lovely vocals, you just can’t beat it.
Track 2: moon and back
“Baby, I love you to the moon and back.”
‘I love you to the moon and back’ is a romantic saying. If you say this, you must really trust the person you’re referring to and you think everything is perfect about them. Needless to say, I love this song to the moon and back. The vocals are perfect, the lyrics are perfect, the piano is perfect, the drum snare is perfect and you also hear the clock ticking sound effect for the first time. The clock ticking is something that you wouldn’t think fits in a song but somehow it does. The clock ticking sound effect is something he puts in the background of his songs and it really just ups the tempo of a song.
Track 3: golden hour
“She’s got glitter for skin, my radiant beam in the night, I don’t need no light to see you, shine, it’s your golden hour.”
This song is another single that has been put on the album but doesn’t need any introduction. Golden hour is Jake’s best song ever. The moment when you’re with someone you love and it’s that golden hour. Everything is perfect. She shines like she has glitter for skin, a glorious look in her eyes and she just slowed down time. You are in the golden hour. The piano is perfect and the lyrics are perfect, too. This song became so popular it charted at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Track 4: this is what heartbreak feels like
“Pretty little liar, what you gonna say, tell me that you love me, lying to my face.”
This is the final single on the album and this is where things start to shift south on this album. We just heard 3 songs about love and now we hear a song about heartbreak. Whoever you loved, they lied. They told you that they love you but it was all a lie. They double crossed you and now they are a snake. Hiding their phone when you’re sleeping and staying out late on the weekends, it just doesn’t add up. Turns out, they are cheating on you. Now it seems like everything is falling apart. You once trusted this person and now you can’t trust them ever again. If there was ever a song for heartbreak, this is the one. Again we hear the clock ticking sound effect to up the tempo of the song and it’s perfect.
Track 5: I’m not ok
“I’m not okay, yeah, I’m broken by you, I’m not okay, but that’s ay-okay with me.”
You’re not ok. You just got cheated on but you let this person still live in your brain. Why? Because you kinda like the pain. At the same time, you feel like you’re dumb and you’re just down bad. All this time, you should’ve known she doesn’t love you. This song has the potential to be special. The only reason why I think it’s not fully there is because there is a beat change near the end of the song. The beat change is good but it takes away the first half of the song. The first half is perfect with the vocals and the piano until you get to the second half where it’s more rock/pop type beat and you get rid of the piano and beautiful vocals.
Track 6: ghost town
“I gotta get out of this ghost town, I gotta move on, I gotta get going with my life, cause everything’s hunted by your ghost now.”
This is a solid song but doesn’t really have much to it. It’s just a song that I think is good but I would definitely skip it as I’ve heard it over and over.
Track 7: this is what sadness feels like
“I know you don’t care at all, please don’t ask how I’ve been, I ain’t heard from you in months.”
This is the type of song to listen to if you want to cry. It’s just straight guitar until the beat changes near the end of the song. It’s a solid song but the pace isn’t there until the beat changes.
Track 8: wonder if she loves me
“Wonder if she loves me, loves me not, overthinking us ‘til after dark.”
At the start of this song, you get a kid that sings “she loves me, she loves me not, she loves me, she loves me not.” Obviously, this is in reference to the game where you pick off the petals of a flower. Whatever saying you said while picking the last one, that is the truth. Now that it’s become reality, does she love you or were her fingers crossed? You’re in your head overthinking everything. At this point, it seems like so much is happening you really just wanted her to break your heart and watch you fall apart. You’ve been stuck in your house for weeks and trying to be strong but those feelings got you weak. You check her profile on social media just to see she has a new boy in her comments – it looks like she has already moved on. Everything with this song is great. It really took me a few listens to really start feeling this song deep down and loving it.
Track 9: save your breath
“And I know you can’t deny the way you fell no more, telling me we need to talk, but baby you can save your breath.”
This is one of the songs on the album that I want to enjoy listening to because it has some great parts in it but others not so much. The beginning starts off slow and then gradually picks up from there. The lyrics are decent but nothing to really go crazy about. The beat is solid but nothing compared to other songs on this album.
Track 10: this is what falling out of love feels like
“I never thought it’d end this way, lost the passion, got the pain, and every time I hear your name, it simply doesn’t hit the same.”
You have, this is what falling in love feels like, this is what heartbreak feels like, this is what sadness feels like and now, this is what falling out of love feels like. The piano on this song is so catchy and lovely. The lyrics are definitely better than track 9 and the beat overall is very good. We cannot forget to talk about the vocals. Near the end, Jake goes crazy with the vocals and it really brings everything together.
Track 11: catch me
“If I fell down right now, would you catch me?”
This song definitely doesn’t hit the same. The first time I played it, I thought it sounded amazing. Now after playing it over and over, I start to realize that this song is only ok. It’s just one of those songs that is on the album just to be on the album.
Track 12: I can’t help it
“Cause I can’t help falling in love with you.”
Did somebody say Elvis Presley? You got that right! This is an old Elvis song that has been taken and put together in a new version by Jake. We get to the end of the album where we started, with a love song.
Why? Because that is the circle of love. You loved someone and it didn’t work out. Now, you can’t stop thinking about them. Then you find love again and it starts all over again. This song is good but definitely not amazing. When we come to the end of an album, you want the last song to be a hit. This is definitely close but just not there. I don’t really know what’s missing but something is.
I really enjoyed this album from start to finish. There are only a few songs that I’ve definitely overheard and would probably skip now but other than that, I have enjoyed listening to this album. Overall, I would give this album a solid 8.5/10!
I also had the chance to see JVKE live in concert here in Colorado. The concert was at the Ogden Theatre, a place that I’ve never been to. Before seeing JVKE live, I had only been to 2 concerts my whole life. One was with friends when I was 10 years old and we went to see a live play from a TV show. The other was a country concert with my mom and brother at the Rockies stadium. I was nervous about going because I had never really cared for concerts. At the same time, I had never really seen anyone I liked before. I went to this concert with my long-time friend from freshman year named Summer. She decided to bring her friend from work along so it ended up being the three of us.
It turned out to be perfect. We get there an hour early and there is already a line from out the door. When we finally get in, the place is already packed and crowded. The first thing we did was wait in line for the shop so we could get a concert tee and vinyl. I’ve started collecting vinyl and was always on the lookout for JVKE’s first album on vinyl but could never find it. I guess it’s because he’s not signed to a record label. The lookout would finally end as they had his first album on vinyl at the shop. I couldn’t believe it! How perfect is that! It really made my whole week.
When we finally get concert tees and everything else, we find a spot in the building to watch the concert from. Jake had two openings before he would perform. One was a girl named Maisy Kay and the other was a guy named Hariz. Maisy sounded amazing as she had a lovely voice. Hariz also sounded amazing but also performed amazingly. He really connected with the crowd and got everyone in the right spirit before Jake performed. After they were both done, we waited 20 more minutes before Jake would come out and start performing.
The rest was history. Everything about his performance was incredible. The light show was incredible and was accompanied by a massive screen behind him to show incredible AI art that keeps on moving. His singing was incredible with the crowd all singing and dancing. He would go on to sing most of his songs on his album while singing some of his unreleased new songs, one of which features the Jonas Brothers. At the end, he would go on to sing an encore as everyone in the crowd chanted, “One more song! One more song!” Overall, this concert was incredible! From start to finish, everyone was having a good time. I would give this concert a perfect 10/10!