EP REVIEW: Jack Jeffery - Passage to Agadir
By: Cyrus Rhodes
"a compelling musical journey'
- INDIE MUSIC DIGEST:-
Artist: Jack Jeffery
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Blues – Rock – Classic Jam Band
Sounds Like: Pink Floyd, Prodigy, Alan Parsons Project
Technical Grade: 7/10
Weakness: Winded songs & catalogue, inconsistent mix, genera identity crisis, repetitive musical meandering
Composer Jack Jeffery releases his debut CD entitled Passage to Agadir in 2010. His style of music has been described as psychedelic, electronic, ambient & even folk or acoustic. Influences range from Pink Floyd, Alan Parsons, The Beatles, The Velvet Underground to Moody Blues to even Brian Eno.
Logging in at just over 66 minutes the CD gently takes to flight with soothing intro piece “Whiskey Burns”. This song methodically serves up driving rock rhythms against mesmerizing rhythm guitar & psychedelic vocal accents & harmonies from Jeffery. Track 2 “You’ve Lost Tomorrow” shifts gears a bit with its slow moving melancholy groove that dishes out impressive ambient accents & inviting vocal harmonies from Jeffery. Track 2 brilliantly flows right into Track 3 “Passage to Agadir” an impressive ambient piece that slowly slithers across your ears. This song is quite dynamic full of musical peaks & valleys that flow & ebb through fruition. This piece is remarkably striking to the ears with its solid bottom end feel & pulsating bass grooves. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many musical influences reminiscent of a classic Pink Floyd, Alan Parsons & even America. But you will also notice a few ambient, chill dub influences in there as well in the vein of Prodigy & Deep Forrest. I would classify this music as psychedelic acoustic rock with brilliant flashes of theatrical ambience. The musicianship is pretty solid across the board as Jeffery delivers a solid 4 piece delivery. I might add their are some impressive acoustic guitar licks along the way. You will also notice rich layers of ambient instrumentation layered along the way full of dynamic sequencing & melodic soundscapes. Jeffery’s voice is melodically consistent & is in the vein of Alan Parson, & David Glmour (Pink Floyd) & James Griffin (Bread) From acoustic “Misty Morning” to “I will be there for you” to passionate “Being Myself” to dynamic “Where’s the Ambient Jam” to trippy Mind Horizon” this CD Pretty much has something for just about everyone. You will also find a few instrumental jams along the way like “ Acoustic Mojo” , “Interstellar Echoes on the Dark Side”, Parsonian Seque” & Overture for the Galaxies& Stars.”
I did notice subtle timing issue on Track 1 with the kick drum downbeat, & track 5 within the clapping effect. This makes for a real distracter. Many pieces are winded & extremely repetitive overall presenting excessive musical meandering. It’s fair to say some songs have excessive intros, outros, solo segments. All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. Several songs don’t sound like the same band or artist. I like the wide musical variety but at the end of the day the CD suffers from a mild case of genera identity crisis. The mix is a bit all over the place with disproportionate & inconsistent volume& instrument levels. Jeffery’s voice works well within the catalogue but is nothing spectacular. His baritone is relatively monotone as he elects to play it safe on all songs avoiding any serious risks that would indicate a world class vocal ability
“Passage to Agadir” is a compelling musical journey. Its strong suit it’s amazing sonic ambience the song for song musical flow. Jeffery gets high marks for his brilliant musical transitions & connecting passages - nice touch. This CD will be a real joy for those listeners out there who want flowing theatrical ambience to fill their sonic space peacefully & unobtrusively. This progressive format makes for a great extended play experience. I recommend you just hit play, close your eyes & see where the journey takes you. Like the title says, this CD feels like a musical journey & will work best when experienced in that capacity. If I could say anything to Jack Jeffery it’s simply this – trim up this CD by 30% & you’ve got yourself a winner. So if you’re looking for a psychedelic musical experience with sonic ambience, theatrical brilliance & a psychedelic rock aftertaste then I highly recommend you take the “Passage to Agadir” with Jack Jeffery as soon as possible.
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