I think that it is very apt that a Johnson reviews an album by Smith and Jones. Also, because I was raised in Tamworth and went to uni at Bathurst, it is apt too. The fact that two of my fave people, Michael Carpenter and Kylie had a wee bit to do with this album, and mainly because it is just bloody good.
My mate, Bruber and I downloaded this from iTunes last weekend and we listened to it and marvelled at it…so much that we played it about 3 times on the way to other gigs, and then we made sure that we were going to a certain gig next weekend at The Union Hotel in Brunswick:
I debated whether to do this review before or after, since I prefer to do reviews from a solid copy, but brother Michael Carpenter sent me the credits and I am much happier with that. The girls are also doing other gigs in Melbournetown and surrounds, so check on that as well.
I am a big Janis Ian fan, thus, as soon as I heard some songs on this, I said to Bruber, hey, this reminds me of someone. I went through Joan Armatrading, which is close, then thought, no, it is Janis Ian. If you plug into a Janis Ian album, you will get it. I am from that generation, so is producer, Michael, so he will understand. These songs, all written by Smith, are just amazing. Maybe folks wouldn’t think of Janis Ian as country, but she is folkish, and to me, Folk always came first, and is closely aligned with country. It is my fave kind of the 79 types of country.
There is not a bad song on this album. I love all of them, from the more tender songs to the upbeat ones.
It is great for a Sunday afternoon, mellowing and peaceful. I know that the girls are a lot younger than Michael and I, but they may know who I think that they are channelling. Michael always does an amazing job, and he covers so many kinds of music.
The musicianship is simple. There are no complicated or overdone musical instruments, the vocals are the most important thing.
Running from Something is slightly different to the other songs, it has a touch of Dylan to it…probably the harmonica, then it is turned into more of an upbeat track. The girls mix it up but keep it to the Janis Ian, Indigo Girls type of music. It is an album that you can play over and over again and reveal the levels of the songs but at the same time just relax and enjoy the vibe.
The quality of songwriting and vocals and harmonies on this album are pretty well second to none. Under the guiding light of one of the greatest in Aussie music, Michael Carpenter, these girls are just damn fine winners. It is hard to fault, and I am not in the business of faulting. Buy the album, go to the gigs, you will not be disappointed. You will be enlightened.
Breathe it in folks. This is music at its finest.
As I Am
One Last Time
Last Night I Saw Jesus
Running From Something
Every Year Around This Time
In the Middle of the Night
Right Into the Heart
The Train Song
Love Lives in darkness