Here is the secret to making a good record: write something completely original that everyone will immediately enjoy, then coast. The hard part isn't merely a good verse-chorus-verse structure but building a unique perspective on the traditional subjects everyone writes about. Unfortunately, after a while, you become stuck to a certain type of sound or subject simply because your music is being filtered through the same perspective. This is particularly a problem for folk artists who usually end up being accurately described simply by what city they come from. Luckily Jack James has a solution here: leave town. Escape.
If you've listened to his previous albums this elegy for escapism shouldn't be entirely unexpected, though you don't need to be too familiar with the back catalogue of an obscure Scottish singer-songwriter to understand the drive to get away from everything. The songs crafted here sound effortless yet precise, showing experience he has no right to have at this age. Nothing quite says this as well as the album centrepiece "Leaving Town", the longest song in the repertoire, a climactic guitar/banjo ensemble which fully captures the journey away from your home and yourself. This common thread of escapism is found within the stories, characters and sounds woven throughout the album which include mediations on age, aspirations and the music scene itself.
This is the sound of an artist in his prime, you're invited to listen but RSVP is not required.
released December 3, 2011
Written: July 2010 - May 2011
(Home) Recorded: 7th April - 12th November 2011
Location: Glasgow, Scotland, UK
All songs written and recorded by Jack James
Instrumentation: Vocal, Banjo, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Piano, Harmonica, Slide Guitar, Whistling, Clock, Percussion
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