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Jensen's worthwhile change of course

Posted by Scott McLennan  May 1, 2013 08:42 PM

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Adam Jensen was getting ready to push the second single from his latest E.P. when the unthinkable happened at the Boston Marathon.

So instead of promoting the edgy video he made for "Dead Man Walking," Jensen returned to "You'll Never Walk Alone," a song he had written with Candlebox's Kevin Martin that seemed far more fitting for the time.

"Kevin and I wrote that in December. It was in the pool of songs for the last record, but was never finished," Jensen recalls. "Then when everything went down, I just wanted to do something. What could I do?"

What he did is retreat to the studio and finish the song that is both love letter to his city and anthem to forge ahead.

"There's not much I changed. It used to be 'sing loud and proud,' but I changed it to 'stand loud and proud,'" he says. "I wanted it to be a tribute to the city and a little bit of sticking-your-chest-out pride."

You can purchase the single by clicking All proceeds will benefit the One Fund established to help victims of the Marathon bombing.

Jensen released the 5-song "Head On a String" E.P. in January (hitting #7 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart). The disc was a nice step forward in pop-rock song craft for the man who built a following first with Mission Hill. "Monsters" arrived as the first single, a bouncy piano-driven track with a dark undercurrent. And the E.P.'s Americana-flavored "Redemption Man" was included in Allston Pudding's "Boston Marathon Relief Mixtape."

With Mission Hill, Jensen displayed the sort of bold strokes and vibrant arrangements fine tuned on "Head on a String." Jensen's style made Mission Hill an easy fit to share the stage with such national acts as Train, Bon Jovi, and Candlebox (which is how he met Martin; now the two are "whiskey buddies"). After parting ways with his former record label, Jensen began recording and performing under his own name. He has a second E.P in the works for a summer release and plans to be on tour through the Northeast.

"Dead Man Walking" is the mournful ballad from "Head on a String," and here's the video created for the single.

While the song is introspective, Jensen says he wanted to bypass any heaviness in the wake of the Marathon tragedy and focus on music as a unifying force.

"I don't have much to say politically," he says. "But I thought ("You'll Never Walk Alone") had a message people could rally around."

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About the author

Scott McLennan is a Boston Globe music correspondent and previously wrote a music and entertainment column for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette for 15 years. After seeing the band Boston in the Boston Garden as a teenager he never looked back and eventually figured out how to be a professional fan. Scott is very good at writing in the dark. This blog is an ongoing discussion about music happening in and around Boston. Scott will be leading the trek across genres looking for new releases and hot shows as well as just checking in with the people who make Boston such a great place to listen. More »
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