Jesse’s Joker and Rainbow Review


Dan Almasi


Thirty-one-year-old Jesse James Rutherford, more commonly known as Jesse®, has been under extreme celebrity spotlight as of recently. In the midst of this fire, the American singer released an album named “Joker & Rainbow” to the public on Tuesday, March 28, 2023. This cleverly named album only consists of two songs: “Joker” and “Rainbow.”

Jesse himself may not seem recognizable, but he is commonly known as the lead singer in the American rock band, The Neighborhood. The band’s most popular song, “Sweater Weather,” has racked up more than two billion streams on Spotify.

While “Joker & Rainbow” is a solo project by Jesse, the songs on the album still pay homage to the band.

The first song on the album, titled “Joker,” is arguably my favorite out of the two. The song is very melancholy, and the flow of the song is addicting. After reading more into the song, it is clear that the song explains Jesse’s struggle to keep up with what others have to say about who he should be.

As seen in the song, being a celebrity is a blessing and a curse. Jesse put his heart into music when he started out, but as time went on, he started losing that strive due to the expectations of others.

In 2020, The Neighborhood released an album named “Chip Chrome & The Mono-Tones.” In this album, Jesse played an alter ego named Chip Chrome who was addicted to the internet. Chip Chrome’s silver face and bright makeup made him stand out because his design was inspired by David Bowie’s dramatic look.

In the music video for “Joker,” directed by Ramez Silyan, Jesse is seen holding the severed head of Chip Chrome, symbolizing the death of that era. Jesse is now in a new face of makeup, adorned with a white base, blue tears, and a red nose/frown; Jesse is now seen as a clown.

This new Jesse is dancing with the severed head until a choir of voices start singing along to the song. As the choir sings along, he drops the decapitated head and appears confused as he is rushing to figure out where the exit is to the stage he is on.

The last verse of the song states, “I tried to change, painted my face, made a new name, are you entertained?” This, along with his new appearance, shows Jesse experiencing a hardship as he attempts to figure out how to keep his audience with him.

Jesse’s second song, “Rainbow,” is more upbeat and sounds similar to the sound of Mac DeMarco. “Rainbow” caused a stir with the fans due to the surprising music video and the meaning behind the song.

In an interview with Apple Music 1, Jesse explained how the song is about him improving his relationships with others. He explained how he felt as though his past relationships did not end on bad terms; rather, he felt as though he needed to leave the relationship to improve himself.

He further explained the meaning of the song, saying how he has felt gloomy and dark, but he can’t help but see the rainbow in front of him.

Following his breakup with model Devon Lee Carlson, many fans were led to believe that the song was dedicated to his now girlfriend, twenty-one year old Billie Eilish. This was confirmed by Jesse himself at a recent concert that he had to promote his new music.

The music video for “Rainbow,” also directed by Ramez Silyan, depicts Jesse walking around in a barren desert. While this may not seem interesting, the music video has moments that leave the viewer agasp.

One of the special moments from the music video for “Rainbow” shows an upside-down house being blown up. The Neighborhood has had a logo of an upside-down house for many years. This house appears on many albums and eps such as, “Wiped Out!” and “I’m Sorry….” The band decided on the upside-down house to symbolize their band only because the members thought it looked cool. The house had been a staple to the band since their debut in 2011.

Seeing the house blown up in Jesse’s video shocked many fans, as they were quick to assume that The Neighborhood was gone for good. Some hopeful fans speculate that the explosion symbolizes the birth of a new era for the band. Personally, I want the band to gain a new era rather than fall apart.

Another eye-opening moment in the music video is when Jesse’s head explodes in a cartoon-like manner twice. This explosion happens while the lyrics, “you’re too easy to love, my mama even likes you too, I’ve had some others, there won’t ever be another like you,” plays in the background. Fans have been led to believe that these lyrics are directly about Billie Eilish and how she has completely changed Jesse for the better.

I am a big fan of The Neighborhood, so naturally I thoroughly enjoyed this solo project by Jesse Rutherford. Seeing aspects of the band shine through his music made me happy and hopeful for a comeback.

I would rate this short album a 9/10. When I first listened to the album, I had to sit and think about what I had just listened to, but after a while of listening to the songs, I found myself enjoying them more and more. I highly recommend listening to this album and listening to The Neighborhood as well.