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(46:01, JAM Recordings)
TRACK LIST: 1. Home 2:57 2. Where There's a Will There's a Way 3:07 3. Vanity Fare 2:17 4. Sweet, Sweet, Relief 3:07 5. Journey to the Centre of the Heart 3:47 6. Walk Right By 2:57 7. Church of Byrds 3:37 8. Love Is Gonna Win 3:37 9. No More Lies 2:57 10. Hurry up and Wait 3:37 11. The Time Is Now 3:37 12. Sailing Homeward 7:07 13. Sleep Good 3:17 LINEUP: Jeremy Morris – vocals; guitars, bass; keybpards; drums Dave Dietrich – drums With: Thomas Malmgrem – guitars; keyboards Todd Borsch – bass, guitars Mark Morris – bass, guitars Peter Morris – drums Brendan Butler – cello
Prolusion. US artist JEREMY has released albums as Jeremy and Jeremy Morris since the early 1980's, and has a back catalog so extensive that it dwarfs the output of artists with a much longer pedigree with his more than 50 studio productions. "Journey to the Center of the Heart" belongs somewhere in the final quarter of that history, and was released in 2009 through Jeremy's own label JAM Recordings.
Analysis. Jeremy Morris is an artist who continues to impress me with his productivity, with his ability to create material of a consistent quality that stretches across several genres of music, and with the manner in which he appears to craft one compelling song after another with compelling ease. "Journey to the Center of the Heart" is not one of the productions where he has chosen progressive rock as the landscape to explore however, and as such this CD may be less interesting to the core readership of this website. Instead, this is one of those albums where Jeremy continues to explore the type of music he's arguably most renowned for, which is power pop. Jeremy's take on this kind of music is one that continues to intrigue me. Just over half of this CD is made up by songs of a very similar nature: Jeremy's slightly sleepy, distanced and dream-laden type of vocals soars on top as standalone vocalist and utilizes some vocal harmonies here and there in a manner that invites to associations to The Beatles. The guitar is the main supporting instrument, usually a dual layered arrangement consisting of one acoustic and one electric guitar, both of them providing harmonies light in tone and spirit, the electric guitar adding a harder edge to the proceedings. The guitars may remind of a number of bands active in the 60's or 70's, ranging from aforementioned The Beatles to The Who, The Byrds as well as artists like ELO and Tom Petty, to name a few. Solid drums and bass, the latter given a more prominent role in some instances where the guitars are less dominant, give the songs a backbone that reminds me of artists such as aforementioned ELO and Tom Petty. Which suits this kind of music very well. Add careful keyboard and Mellotron textures given occasional space to shine, most often in the chorus section, alongside liberal use of vintage psychedelic oriented guitar soloing, and the main ingredients on this album have been covered. Other names may be dropped of course, this depends largely on how much music from way back you are familiar with and recalls at any given time, but most people should get a general impression about the kind of musical landscape explored by this description presumably. Fairly often any given song appears to draw inspirations form multiple sources of that kind, and unless I'm much mistaken I believe I heard Jeremy leaving a few musical calling cards to some of his possible influences in quite a few of the songs on this CD. Some songs deviate from the common norm, however. No More Lies sports a more defined 60's oriented sound and structure, combined with darker toned guitars, a nice slide guitar insert and what appears to be a drone or guitar reverbs. Hurry up and Wait shares some similar traits – darker in sound first and foremost, but also with effects, sampled sounds, and an overall jollier atmosphere despite the use of darker elements. Sailing Homeward is a longer, delicate affair with piano, Mellotron and sound effects as the main ingredients besides the vocals, whilst concluding composition is a lullaby for half its length, the other half consisting of what sounds like a reverse tape effect or an effect of a similar nature that is undeniably psychedelic in nature. All the songs come across as compelling in their own right though. Some of them may be a tad too similar to each other, but even so these are songs that invite you to hum along, and sing along too as far as the greater majority of the chorus parts are concerned, and one exception aside all the songs are fairly brief as well, so that the themes and motifs at hand are never overly
Conclusion. Jeremy Morris has explored a great number of different types of music on his more than 50 full length albums so far, and in the case of "Journey to the Center of the Heart" it's the type of music generally classified as power pop that is at the heart of the proceedings. Energetic, short songs that reference 60's and 70's bands such as The Beatles, The Who and ELO fairly often, with psychedelic guitar soloing and clever use of keyboards and Mellotron as recurring elements flavoring the songs. A well made album of its kind, and one well worth acquiring if you tend to enjoy music of this kind.
OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: September 3, 2014
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