Just seen the great voice, Jack L performing in the Dock in Carrick-on-Shannon last night and its about the 5th or 6th time I’ve seen him live so before I get around to this late review of his latest album “Burn On” it needs to be said that I’m already a big fan!
I’ve had the new album for a couple of months now and only listened once or twice. It sounded kinda weird so I knew if I was gonna like it it would take a while and I havn’t got around to listening since. Last night’s gig brought the songs home to me a lot more and I’ve been listening to the album all day now!
Burn On is an album of Randy Newman covers and with many images, emotions, and styles. “Great Nations of Europe” is a European history and geography lesson, “Political Science” is an American political and social commentary. Songs like the title track “Burn On” and “Baltimore” are rich cinematic paintings of Americana. “Sail Away” is an account of the luring of slaves to America and “Kathleen” is a religious/catholic ditty about ‘irish girls’! Thats quite a mix..!
The songs are deep and rich in emotion and evocation and elicited many emotions in this listener ranging from nightmarish fear (“In Germany Before the War”) to the rockin/bluesy “It’s Money That I Love” and the Vaudevillian, Sinatraesque “Lonely At The Top”. Its even got a sexy cover of “You Can Leave Your Hat On”! Theres great piano playing and strings all the way through and some of the sounds reminded me of Nick Cave and Tom Waits.
The album is great introduction to Newman’s work and its another great recording from Jack.