(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

CD review - Jack Jeffery, The Constant That Remains (2012)

More focused than his debut, relaxed electronic fringed psychedelia

Jack Jeffery's debut, Passage to Agadir (review here) tried to cover too many genres. His follow up album, The Constant That Remains, addresses that with a more consistent sound of laid back electronic and psychedelic grooves. Primarily exercising a wide range of Pink Floyd influences, Jeffery's songs still vary but offer a musical thread to hold the album together.

There are a couple of stylistic exceptions, for better and worse. The classically centered Gavotte for African Steel Guitar develops some interesting ideas, starting from a stiffer, cultured beginning and growing into a smoother musical flow. Despite the solo acoustic guitar arrangement, the large middle section intriguingly hints at electronic progressions. On the other hand, Jeffery's John Lennon pastiche/tribute, A Plea to a Dreamer, misses the mark. It's very heartfelt, but the multitude of musical and lyrical allusions feels too heavy handed.

The Pink Floyd references are more spread out and restrained, from the taste of The Wall's Hey, You in the intro of Rearranged to the hints of Breathe meandering through Carry On. Jeffery also includes a little Mike Oldfield on Valencian Cosmos and some Jefferson Airplane psychedelia on Everything Changes. Throughout all of these, though, Jack Jeffery maintains his own voice that complements the sonic coloring. His modern take on these older sounds offers a fresher perspective.

My favorite track is The Sirius Wall. This progressive track has an introspective start that sets up a steady groove that mixes a touch of Wall era darkness with Meddle era slide guitar. But the song is framed with electro tone washes. Layered with wire sculpture jangles and retro synths, the effect is wonderfully trippy.

Jeffery continues to self release his music. Drop by CD Baby, iTunes, or Amazon to pick up The Constant That Remains.

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