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Jack Jeffery - 2014 - "Enlightened Horizon"

(60:26, ‘Jack Jeffery’)


1. Global Rise – Ancient Truth 5:52
2. Melancholy Minstrel 5:53
3. The Road That Never Ends 5:11
4. Memories of Tomorrow 6:28
5. Approaching the Starlight 5:59
6. Continuum 3:55
7. Sonata No. 1 in C for Theorbo 1:20
8. Amazing Grace / The Consequence of Love 6:00
9. Trans-Celestial Express 4:57
10. Never Go Back to the Mountain 8:19
11. Our Own Past 6:32


Jack Jeffery – vocals; all instruments

Prolusion. US composer and musician 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" followed next in 2012. "Enlightened Horizon" is his third solo production, and was self-released in 2014.

Analysis. On the previous albums by this artist I noted that a certain lo-fi approach to the art of vintage psychedelic music was the key and core feature of those albums. As of 2014 Jeffery has expanded the scope quite a bit, and he's also improved markedly as a performer and composer, in my opinion. It's always a pleasure to experience an artist developing his craft, of course; in this case polishing what I found was a raw talent into something that should have a broader general appeal. The psychedelic types of music are still present, where especially the folk-tinged The Road That Never Ends exploring those particular landscapes in a sort of lo-fi Americana flavored manner that otherwise is comparable to Led Zeppelin's classic ‘Battle of Evermore’ in some key details, albeit not a composition of the same general quality as this revered classic. Otherwise this is an album that moved quite a bit between various kinds of styles and expressions, from opening track Global Rise – Ancient Truth and its movement through a Pink Floyd-meets-Tangerine Dream landscape, complete with world music flavoring, to the more synth pop-oriented electronic Continuum and some more sophisticated electronic creations honing in much closer to aforementioned Tangerine Dream, where a composition such as Trans-Celestial Express would be a suitable companion piece to Tangerine Dream's ‘Midnight in Tula’. There are some shortcomings on this production as well, however. Jeffrey isn't a great vocalist, and on the psychedelic folk anthem kind of tune Never Go Back to the Mountain, a creation that relies heavily on the vocals to carry it, his limitations as a vocalist are rather exposed. The mix and production don't help matters either, as some work should have been done to mask the sharp esses that make frequent appearances. I also note several instances of instrument sounds breaking to static noise, indicating some flawed choices in the recording or mixing process of the album. None of those are major items, but all of them add a slight detrimental touch to the proceedings, at least for those not all that fond of music with something of a lo-fi attitude to it.

Conclusion. Jack Jeffery's third outing as a solo artist is a fairly varied affair, containing everything from folk-oriented vintage psychedelic material and later day Pink Floyd-inspired creation to electronic creations, aligned with elegant synth pop on one occasion, and the more accessible sides of Tangerine Dream to a somewhat greater extent. There are some lo-fi aspects to this album, and some instances of less than optimal choices done in the recording and mix of this CD, but, as long as you are tolerant of such details, this is a charming album for those with a wide enough taste in music to be able to enjoy a production covering the fairly expansive stylistic palette described.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: April 7, 2016
The Rating Room

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Jack Jeffery


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