Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Jim Noir, Jim Noir

The stories have been told many times about how the Beatles and the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson were driving each other to new heights of creativity as they listened to each other’s records in the mid ’60s.  The Jim Noirresults were Sgt. Peppers and Pet Sounds, two era-defining albums.  Of late it has become common for bands to draw from both sources for inspiration and Beach Boys styled vocal harmonies or Sgt Pepper’s type instrumentation can be found from bands as diverse as Cafe Tacuba, Panic at the Disco, and Dr. Dog

Enter Jim Noir.  Noir is what would happen if you put Sgt. Pepper’s era Beatles, the Beach Boys and any number of ’60s and’70s psychedlic pop bands in a blender and pureed them into a smooth and tasty blend.  Where other bands do songs in the style of the Beatles, Noir is so saturated with his sources that he sounds more like he is drawing on the same wellsprings of inspiration as Pepper’s era McCartney, for example, than using the earlier music as a model.  This is all the more remarkable when you consider that Noir was born 12 years after the Beatles split up in 1970.

Noir makes this work because first and foremost he crafts pop tunes brilliantly.  He is a superior songwriter and arranger who is also adept at bringing modern musical technology to bear in creating his expertly crafted pop gems.  The song structures and vocal stylings and harmonies are modern examples of ’60s psychedelic pop but the songs are often saturated with current-day electronics.  He frequently uses layers upon layers of instruments, effects, and vocals but he meshes them so well that his songs never sound like a cluttered hodge-podge. 

Now take into account that Noir does all of this himself.  Noir wrote and arranged all the tunes, he sings all the lead and harmony vocals and plays all the instruments, and he recorded the album.  Jim Noir is a one man show produced by one astonishngly talented man.

Jim Noir is Noir’s second full length album following 2006’s Tower of Love.  Both albums present the same type of music with Jim Noir being the slightly more polished of the two.  Noir is unique in his talents and in his ability to so clearly evoke an earlier era while producing new and original music.  If you are a fan of ’60s psychedelic pop you do not want to miss Jim Noir.

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07/04/2008 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews | , , , ,

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