Adventures of a University Finalist

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Cancer Stick Smokin', Chin Dimple Sportin' Monster of Pop


Jason Falkner - Can You Still Feel? (Elektra, 1999)

Jason Falkner - Holiday
Jason Falkner - Eloquence
Jason Falkner - See You Again
Jason Falkner - My Lucky Day

This writer's block is such a horrid affliction! I've been staring at this screen for about an hour contemplating a strategem with which I can effectively get across how much I love Jason Falkner and especially this, his second solo album. I managed to sneakily obtain an advance mix of his unreleased album, "Eloquence" (don't get it confused with the song off 'Can You...') and it's been on repeat on my iPod for so long that I will willingly fork out muchos doubloons when it finally arrives on import.
Falkner is known for his chimera role in the music business, producing and co-writing the raw and affecting pop found on Brendan Benson's perfect debut album, sessioning on Beck's "breaking up over a qualuude cocktail" album ' Sea Change', and playing a key role in the seminal bands, Jellyfish and The Grays. So as you can guess from that brief analysis what these track sound like: experimental power pop with a polished production and hot tamale guitar playing. He's quite the multi-instrumentalist too which helps him from ever straying anywhere near the horrors of Matthew Sweet blandness with 'See You Again' an excellent example of this. Whereas, Sweet would have settled for a basic power trio production with keyboard embellishments on what is a slow bossa nova shimmy, Falkner goes for a more stripped down arrangement with multitracked acoustic guitars, an intermittent gong, bubbling synths and the always pleasant sound of a man singing with himself.
"My Lucky Day" is a mid tempo rocker which when deconstructed to a base measurement of chord structure could be rather hideous in the wrong hands eg me and my battered acoustic. Instead, it kicks off with a vocal sample, a repetetive keyboard workout that cuts across a fuzzy set of power chords. At this point, I should mention how treated Falkner's vocal often sound. It never detracts from the songs, however, because together they form a package of studio perfection fully evidenced by the song's bridge at around 2.10 minutes (it has handclaps and "la la laaas"!). Taken out of the context of the studio and 32 track mixing desks, Falkner may not contain anywhere near as much punch. But from the evidence proffered by the 4 track demos CD I own, I highly doubt that.
Apparently, Falkner is the critic's darling. It's high time that he became the public's darling as well so that he doesn't have to play the support act to flavour of the months like the Kaiser Chiefs on his home soil. Here's to a Badfinger revival at the start of this strange new century.

Visit - Jason Falkner
Buy - Jason Falkner - Can You Still Feel?