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(68:05, ‘Jack Jeffery’)
TRACK LIST: 1. Whiskey Burns 6:12 2. You've Lost Tomorrow 5:49 3. Passage to Agadir 6:34 4. Misty Morning 3:26 5. Where's the Ambient Jam 4:47 6. Being Myself 6:00 7. Acoustic Mojo 2:30 8. Mind Horizon 6:51 9. Auf Wiedersehen! 2:37 10. I Will Be There for You 3:32 11. Interstellar Echoes on the Dark Side 10:51 12. Parsonian Segue 5:30 13. Overture for Galaxies and Stars 3:26 SOLO PILOT: Jack Jeffery – vocals; all instruments
Prolusion. US composer and musician Jack JEFFERY hails from Virginia, and cites artists like Brian Eno, Pink Floyd and The Beatles as major sources of inspiration. "Passage to Agadir" is his initial effort and was self-released in late summer 2010.
Analysis. Right now I'm in a position I don't like very well. I have a debut album in front of me and lots of notes on this production, most of which are critical. It's also apparent that this is a production that has taken a lot of time and effort to craft, and I really dislike writing a negative review in such a case. To take the best parts first: There are a few tracks here that are worthwhile experiences. The title track is a rather well-made ambient electronic creation not too dissimilar to Hawkwind's dreamier escapades and is by far the best and most intriguing composition. The folk-tinged piece Misty Morning is a nice effort; the epic length heavily Pink Floyd-inspired Interstellar Echoes on the Dark Side is another number many will find to be an interesting experience too, with a hypnotic playful bass line as the most central detail, and the triple banjo, acoustic guitar and downmixed dampened funky guitar licks that form the foundation of the following Parsonian Segue work pretty well, blended with the slowly surging space-tinged synth textures that take brief pauses to add in some nice saxophone soloing. All of these are creations that are worthwhile experiences in general, although the title track is the only one that can be described as above average as a musical experience, at least as far as my notion of music goes. There are quite a few dimensions to this creation that fail to inspire me, on a number of different levels: too-long compositions that generally are too repetitive and lacking in contrasting details, a general lack of elements that can provide tension as well as variation and themes that by and large overstay their welcome. The rhythms are weak, with what sounds like an older drum machine used in a not too creative manner. The overall pace sticks to the slow and pedestrian throughout, adding an emphasis on the overall non-variable approach, given the individual creations. Mix and production leave a bit to be desired as well, and on many songs the vocal parts lash out like the end of a whip, which is also the same for the drums at times: way too sharp, to the point of being unpleasant more than merely annoying. When that is said, Jeffery has a raw talent worth developing. He has a good ear for the laidback varieties of Pink Floyd's repertoire in general, showcasees good skills in crafting enjoyable motifs, and if properly developed and harnessed his output could become alike intriguing, interesting and well worth exploring at a later date. A higher quality rhythm backing and better production would improve much of the material markedly, and applying subtle details to cater for more variation would improve his material no end. In addition to cutting down the length, Mind Horizon would have been a highlight if clocking in at less than three minutes for instance, but at close to seven it's not an appealing listen for those who enjoy concentrated musical immersion.
Conclusion. If you are a fan of sophisticated rock in general and are amongst the ones who truly enjoy listening to music with dedication and concentration, this initial effort by Jack Jeffery will most likely be a less than interesting experience. But if you enjoy the less adventurous efforts by artists such as Pink Floyd and would like to have an album in that vein serving as background music, this is an effort that just might be to your fancy. Giving the tracks on his MySpace page an initial run is adviseable for anyone curious. If you enjoy the music then you'll also find this CD to be rewarding, and vice versa.
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