Jack James, one of 2009’s finest debut artists, has jumped around back onto the proverbial wagon with his sophomore release, Quarter Life Crisis. This talented Scottish wordsmith brings back the signature “one man, one guitar, a thousand words” take on folk music and the ever-present sense of spirituality that comes with the genre. Though James hasn’t changed much since his debut album Lights Off, Headphones On (granted, it’s only been a year), it certainly does seem as though the spirit of his words are a bit more gloomy and a bit more personable than ever before.
“Progress” stands out as the more moody side of Quarter Life Crisis. James throws around constructive insults as lively as he would whisper sweet words to a lover. Even when he speaks with distaste, he never seems to lose the love in his heart. “Gathering Dust” seems to break out the alt country fan, and much more up-tempo side of good old Jack. Every song throughout this album sounds as though it would be best heard in a small corner of a pub nestled in the hills of Scotland, surrounded by those you love and a few pints of beer. It’s going to make you laugh, cry, and love just a little bit more.
Jack James still seems to have the influence of Donovan Frankenreiter or Matt Costa from our side of the grand pond, but his tireless work effort should show that he is not anywhere near becoming the Candlebox of the mid 90’s. It’s sad that this comparison might even be made. Man has been strumming acoustic guitars and telling stories of pain and exhaustion for hundreds of years. Some have perfected commercialized the art, this is true. But some folks just want to tell the world what they need to let out. And the latter is exactly what Quarter Life Crisis should prove to be recognized as when heard through the right ears.
Please visit Jack James’s Bandcamp Page to download Quarter Life Crisis as a “name your price” digital download.
Download: “Gathering Dust” by Jack James
[audio:100603-jack-james-gathering-dust.mp3|titles=Gathering Dust|artists=Jack James]
Download: “Progress” by Jack James
[Digital LP, 2010]
1. Gathering Dust
2. Another Man, Another Song
3. How Long?
4. Twenty Two
5. The Confidence Man
7. The Teacher
8. Childhood Games
9. Past Sayings