Friday, September 11, 2009

Daylight and Stars - Jim Jones

After the brief but wonderfully titled opener The Underwater Orchestra, Winter Song gets us going steadily and softly builds, finishing with a nice outro, but it’s not until the subsequent Road to You that this album truly begins. It’s a very accomplished song with echoes of contemporary bands currently doing the rounds and without question the highlight of the album. “Am I a passenger or just a visitor?” enquires the songwriter. Emphasised even more so by this track you can’t help but feel that the listener is the passenger on Jones’ soulful journey throughout the album.

There is a very personal theme running through his work, but Jim is no tortured soul. No tales of heartbreak or desperation here, thank you very much. Far from it. Tracks like Find Me Out and Evelyn are testament to this with the latter conjuring images of summer love, maybe lost, maybe not, but upbeat nevertheless.

The mid-section of the album continues in a similar vein with One Step Away and Treading Water which are supported nicely by Severn, a folk-infused one-minute instrumental which could possibly do with being longer.

A Cornish Western is pure indulgence on Jones’ part and probably an unnecessary filler but given the quality of the material surrounding it, we’ll forgive him this time. After this experimental interlude the album finishes strongly and beautifully with Daylight Breaks and another stand out number Illuminate, and as the title may suggest with slightly spiritual overtones.

Jim is obviously a guy with a positive outlook on life and it’s well reflected in his lyrics and musical style. The inclusion of a number different instruments makes the album feel more polished and never feels overdone, always keeping the formula simple, and is admirable considering that it could be tempting to over indulge.

In an industry saturated with successful solo artists with arguably little more than style over substance there’s easily enough here to stand up against and even surpass them.

For more information on the music of Jim Jones and to buy Daylight and Stars visit his web site at

Reviewer: Country Bear Jamboree

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