Enation, World in Flight

enation4_phixrHe may be known best as General Hospital’s Lucky, but Emmy-winning soap actor Jonathan Jackson maintains a double-life as a sensitive, sometimes brooding modern rock singer-guitarist in Enation.

Much of the material on the Pacific Northwest band’s World in Flight is driven by echo-laden guitars reminiscent of U2, splashes of piano that call to mind Coldplay and an arena-rock backbeat that holds it all together. Jackson is joined in the group by brother and fellow actor Richard Lee Jackson on drums, bassist Daniel Sweatt and keyboardist Michael Galeotti.

The GH heartthrob’s rock star skills borrow from the book of Bono, with vocals that range from breathy whispers to an overdriven falsetto that hits with all the impact of a raw nerve. His guitar playing is even more nuanced. “Eyes of Grace” features delicate and understated fret board filigree, while “Burst Wide Open” is one of several tracks with guitar solos that wouldn’t be out of place on a Van Halen record.

The group’s lyrics suggest a tantalizing spirituality, hinting at a deeper faith that’s never made explicit. Much like U2, there’s a scriptural tone to many of Enation’s lyrics–but it never gets heavy enough to turn off secular fans.

“Permission To Dream” perfectly encapsulates the fervor of the quartet’s lyrical vision. “I don’t want to see you hesitate / when you’ve been called to explore / I don’t want to see you weary / when you’ve been called to soar / I don’t want to see you afraid / when I made you for war / I don’t want you to play the victim / when I’ve given you the sword.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, the song has since been adopted by Just Yell Fire–a non-profit organization that educates and empowers young girls to actively resist sexual predators.

To those who think Jackson is just a daytime soap dilettante dabbling in music, the pulsating groove of “Everything Is Possible” offers succinct rebuttal: “Some would say we’re reaching too high / If that makes me guilty, I don’t want any alibis.”

Review By: Theodore Thimou

[Rating: 3/5]

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