Who doesn’t like Singer-Songwriter music? I’d all hands go up in the air. I mean, while Singer-Songwriter, which by the way kind of emerged in the late 60’s and 70’s with the arrival of artists like Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, Elton John, Jim Croce and Billy Joel they represented a close and personal artistic snapshot from the artist in question. The music tended to be at times gripping and powerful. Many feel the Singer-Songwriter sound has lost it’s way evolving into overly commercialized, highly corporate songs that do a better job at getting under your skin rather than getting into your heart.
Label: Independent Artist
Despite this introduction most music fans can’t deny getting into a good poppy groove every now and then and really enjoy well written music within this style from time to time. You know bands like: Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, John Mayer, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. The latest release by Jacob Latham entitled appropriately enough “Midnight Train” came to my attention last week. I must admit I yawned expecting the typical Jack Johnson John Mayer poppy music conventions — only to be blown away with what I heard. I get the impression Latham writes and records in a unique fusionist style of music combining the best of rhythms of Blues and gold old fashioned Americana. His unique style meshes rhythms and sounds with short, humorous stories — still-life if you will for an increasingly busy age. Latham asks us to examine the world in a fresh light. I hate to pigeonhole but if you like Robbie Williams, Rusted Root, Iron and Wine, Tindersticks, Tim Buckley, Marc Cohen and Andrew Bird you will like Jacob Latham . “Midnight Train” is exceptional music and multi-dimensional to say the least — bit it sounds more like a live recording. Mainly due to the drums sounding pretty unorthodox as I doubt they were recorded properly. This does not do Latham Justice. Despite this issue the music itself is uplifting, thought provoking, and interesting. It also however possesses an Americana Blues core kind of breaking the traditional mold for Singer-Songwriter style of music. Does all of this sound a bit over the top to you? Just listen to marquee tracks like “Pay Attention to the Rain”, “Midnight Train” and “Don’t Let Them In” and you’ll begin to see my perspective. I got hooked on Latham after watching a few of his videos (linked Below) and after the first few seconds of Track 1: “Pay Attention to the Rain.”
The main focus of this genre of music is generally the personality of the artist, here Latham manages to win you over without even trying. The amazing lyrical content never feels like an afterthought. What’s more the vocal work and impeccable songwriting from Latham and a few notable players/contributors really brings it all together. All in all it’s a powerful combination that puts a guy like Latham on the map for 2014. He should go a long way towards proving that real music is still alive and well.
YOU TUBE – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmNjo7iWoXQ
Score 3/5 Stars
Darren Rich edited by Joshua Beach. Approved by Michael Morrison.
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