Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Farrell Jackson - Last Day

Hear The Track Here

Although I'd seen Californian musician Farrell Jackson a time or two in the chatroom during Mike-K's Saturday Night Rocks radio show on Mixposure, it wasn't until I reviewed The Train To Normal (January 2009) that I paid serious attention. A slice of pure American folk, Train To Normal is exactly what I like - a story told with depth and style set in as simple a style as possible, all the better to get the story across. Judging by Last Day, getting the story across is a big thing with this artist. This is a song based on 'a true story about a young man that was diagnosed as bipolar. He committed suicide as people watched..(online)' and obviously getting an understanding of it means getting all the words - and they are posted too.

See, organisation DOES pay off.

Aided in this project by DrC (also co-writer) and the legendary Rob Grant on bass, Last Day looked very promising on paper. The first thing you'd expect is a crisp, clear sound and you may as well tick that box right off because the sound on this track is priceless - as good as it ever gets. If I had to put my finger on a thumbnail description I think I would have to say prog-rock in the form of the extremely underrated Electric Light Orchestra in general and Jeff Lynne in particular. Even when his head was up his ass (as he was lyrically during his prog-rock period) Jeff Lynne still knew how to reach into the honey pot to feed you something sweet and poignant.

Considering this is a true story I questioned why the story it told so eloquently didn't disturb me as much as it should. Have I become that cynical about the state of play? As the song says 'What the hell is wrong with this picture?', a priceless line in a song full of them. While prog-rock and I are (extremely) uneasy bedfellows, I admit to loving the kind of prog-rock from the poppier side of the street, and its that influence, I think, that makes me like this. It helps, of course, that everything is right on the money; musically and technically and that Farrell is a proven, experienced songwriter but nonetheless Last Day packs an awful lot of punches despite that pedigree.

MUST HAVE rock with a story to chill your heart.

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