Since Gentleman Jesseโ€™s first album came out in the summer of 2008, heโ€™s had plenty of excuses to put the โ€œGentlemanโ€ part of his act to bed. In fact, the Mr. Nice Guy routine landed him in bed for a month after being mugged and beaten with a table leg while he was trying to help two strangers change a tire. When the economy tanked, violent crime in Atlanta exploded, making the city a dreary place to live for a while. In addition, several tragedies hit the Atlanta music scene and the Douchemaster Records family close to home. It was a bad time and Jesse took it very personally. He was close to throwing in the towel and retiring to a dark room with cheap beer and YouTube videos.ย To cope with the reality of living in a place that was going straight to hell, Jesse went down to the basement of his house and wrote twenty songs that would become Leaving Atlanta. What could have easily become a bummer record ended up being nothing short of inspiring. The album is bookended by โ€œEat Me Alive,โ€ an anthem of perseverance that was for Jesse a demon-exercising tool, and another mover titled โ€œWe Got to Get Out of Here,โ€ which is less about getting out of an actual location and more about getting out of a state of mind.ย Stylistically, Jesse never strays from his bread and butter: short, hook-driven and delicately patterned rock โ€™nโ€™ roll songs. One could compare him to Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello or Paul Collins โ€™til the cows come home, but at this point Gentleman Jesse sounds like Gentleman Jesse. Leaving Atlanta is Jesse hitting his personal and musical stride.