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CD REVIEW: Jimmy Shannon and The Pleasure Barge - Better Late Than Never

by: Cyrus Rhodes

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"amazing songwriters touch'

- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST-

 

 

 

 

 

Artist/Band: Jimmy Shannon and The Pleasure Barge

Album: Better Late Than Never
Label: Independent Artist

Website: https://soundcloud.com/jimm-shannon/hard-to-come-by-m2

Purchase Link: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jimshannon1

Genre: Psychedelic Pop, Rock, Alternative Rock, Americana Pop

Sounds Like: Todd Rundgren, Tom Petty, Seals and Crofts, The Beatles, Yes, Steve DeBerg, Matthew Sweet, Ryan Adams

Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Kiss Her, Breathe, Hard to Come By, One More for the Road, Stars, Janey

Weakness: Dated Sound, Marketability.

 

CD REVIEW: 

 

Jimmy Shannon just released his latest 15 Track collection of songs in 2014 entitled “Better Late Than Never”. An eclectic mix of songs from the heart featuring an acoustic based blend of rock hooks, thoughtful lyrics and rich harmonies. And, 1/3 of all sale proceeds are being donated to two worthy charities: the American Lung Association and STOMP Out Bullying. Purchase link above.

 

The CD quickly takes to flight with melodic intro piece “Breathe.” This song serves up infectious rocked out musical ambience against mesmerizing vocals, hypnotic guitar, harmonies and driving rock rhythm, impressive guitar solo that gently leads you by the hand down the path of psychedelic trippy/poppy musical indulgence. Track 2 “Kiss Her” shifts gears a bit with its methodical intro and musical build, inviting pop-rock vibe and infectious acoustic guitar licks and heartfelt vocals from Shannon. Track 3 “Hard To Come By” is an impressive hooky-rock piece that is full of musical peaks and valleys, impressive Piano that flow and ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. By track 4 this CD hits solid stride delivering many impressive songs back to back. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Todd Rundgren, Yes, however I can even hear brief flashes of The Beatles, They Might be Giants” and even a dash of Seals and Crofts. Other comparable artists: Matthew Sweet, Neil Young and Ryan Adams. I would classify this music as trippy Singer/Songwriter, Punk, and Alternative Rock with a fun and eccentric Psychedelic, Indie College Rock UK flair. I can also hear some dub-experimental music with classic remnants of Poppy Alternative Rock. The CD at times presents brilliant peak and valley flow via a strong artistic perspective. Besides the four piece standard you will also notice rich layers of Piano, sporadic percussion, Banjo, rhythm guitar, organ, solo guitar, fiddles, lush harmonies, low end beats, and enticing harmonies and melodies - all built on a thick as a brick rhythmic foundation. Shannon showcases impressive singing and songwriting skills throughout. Kudos goes out the mind-blowing acoustic/electric guitar licks painted along the way by Shannon. His musicianship and compositions are pretty solid across the board as Shannon is clearly letting it all hang out in a fun impassioned way with this release. All production aspects check out. CD possesses solid low end punch and crystal clear high end clarity. Shannon has an effective baritone and all harmonies are effective and well placed. At times his voice reminds me of John Lennon, Greg Lake and Steve De Berg. From hypnotic “One More for the Road” to Celtic “Janey” to hooky “Edgar Allen” to striking “Last to Know” and “Lose Your way” to rocking “Black and Blue” to bluesy “Stars” to jumpy “Harry” this CD has something for just about everyone. The CD ends with Track 15 “The Christmas Song” the perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber.  Some aspects of the production sound a bit dated reminiscent of music popular 20+ years ago. Shannon should look to somehow modernize his sound a bit without compromising his musical foundation.

 

Some aspects of the production sound a bit dated reminiscent of music popular 20+ years ago. Shannon should look to somehow modernize his sound a bit without compromising his musical foundation.

 

“Better Late Than Never” by Jimmy Shannon is a fun, compelling, uplifting, melodic, and therapeutic musical journey. This DIY composer, producer, musician is making waves for himself for a reason. Its strong suit is its amazing songwriters touch and song for song musical flow. There isn't a weak song on this entire 15 Track set. Shannon gets high marks from me for delivering a poppy, carefree vibe - nice touch. The music is diverse, grooving, upbeat, soulful and entertaining. The songwriting – all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair and signature groove. This CD will be a real joy for those listeners out there who want flowing poppy musical experience to fill their atmosphere. This straight forward, easy to digest musical format makes for a great musical experience many will enjoy. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes and see where the journey takes you—why---because it’s “Better Late Than Never.”

 

 Cyrus Rhodes