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TRACK LIST: 1. We Need It Back (The Modern Dream) 7:01 2. Rearranged 5:20 3. A Plea to a Dreamer 5:34 4. Gavotte for African Steel Guitar 3:10 5. Fade Away 5:17 6. The Sirius Wall 4:03 7. Everything Changes 4:12 8. Trust the Dial 0:41 9. Valencian Cosmos 3:16 10. Ascendancy 3:31 11. The Constant in the Chaos 0:51 12. Carry On 5:45 SOLO PILOT: Jack Jeffery vocals; all instruments
Prolusion. US composer and instrumentalist Jack JEFFERY hails from Virginia, USA. He made his debut as a solo artist in 2010 with "Passage to Agadir", with Brian Eno, Pink Floyd and The Beatles as stated musical influences. "The Constant That Remains" is his second production, and was self released early in 2012.
Analysis. Vintage oriented music has been something of a mainstay amongst artists with a desire to take on progressive rock as a genre. For a number of different reasons I guess, but at the top of the list is the fact that it was music described in this manner that was most innovative when rock music started stretching outwards to expand the boundaries of its universe. Jack Jeffery is among those who look back in time for inspiration, targeting a period stretching from the late 60's to the middle of the 70's. His type of music is one that I'd describe as lo-fi psychedelic rock more than anything. He employs fairly basic drum patterns, and while an able instrumentalist his prowess with the bass and acoustic guitar is some way off from holding an international quality. As a keyboardist he appears to be of a somewhat higher class, at least as far as planning, assembling and executing digital arrangements go. He's a limited vocalist, with a somewhat flat voice and limited range, and the overall recording quality is one that has DIY and home studio written all over it. But within his limitations Jeffery does a fair job at his best. The recording quality does have a negative impact now and then, his instrumental skills occasionally too, especially in the drums department, and his voice and delivery limitations mean that he isn't able to elevate any of the songs through his vocals. Some odd choices in arrangements have a negative impact too, especially on opening effort We Need It Back. But on tracks like Fade Away and The Sirius Wall he manages to combine his strengths to good effect, and even more so on the cosmic instrumentals Valencian Cosmos and Ascendancy. These two are clear highlights of this CD. Other compositions have their charm too, the Beatlesesque A Plea to a Dreamer a tune I suspect will be found charming by quite a few people. But on the whole this is a CD I imagine will be found wanting by most listeners who approach their music pleasures in the same manner as I do, those who listen to music with a fair degree of concentration, focusing solely on music when listening to it. But for other purposes I suspect this is a production that will come to good use. As an unobtrusive, vintage oriented psychedelic creation, it will be a good fit for those who enjoy listening to music of this kind while also occupied with other matters, as a soundtrack while driving a car for instance.
Conclusion. Psychedelic progressive rock of the late 60's to mid 70's department is what Jack Jeffery provides on his second album "The Constant That Remains". A true to life lo-fi, home made production of the kind that will find its core set of listeners through charm and atmosphere rather than stunning compositions and flamboyant instrument skills. One to seek out by those who tend to be charmed by psychedelic rock of the kind that sounds like it was home made some 40 years ago.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: February 3, 2012
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