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Jay Lewis - Back to the Fountain

  by Richard Lewis

published: 21 / 4 / 2012



Jay Lewis - Back to the Fountain
Label: VB Recordings
Format: CD

intro

Excellent solo debut LP from former Cracatilla lead singer and La’s and John Power sideman, Jay Lewis


Former lead singer of acclaimed Liverpudlian trio Cracatilla and lead guitarist for the La’s and John Power during the last decade, Jay Lewis’ solo debut LP serves as a superb example of the album as artistic statement. Designed to be heard as a coherent whole from front-to-back, the acoustic-driven performances, reflected in the album’s title of ‘getting back to the source’ benefit from the spare instrumentation and spacious arrangements, allowing Lewis’ skills as a guitarist and singer to shine. The best moments occur early on, the beautifully understated opener ‘Take It Easy’ circling around dexterously played arpeggios and hushed lead vocal, while the title track revolves around spare acoustic guitar, gentle morse code-like feedback and timpani that echo like distant thunder. ‘Time to Choose’, a distant cousin of the Kinks’ ‘Sunny Afternoon’, mines similar lyrical territory to Ray Davies’ number, a resigned lyrical shrug at the world rushing past, with the narrator seemingly past caring. Elsewhere, ‘Sick and Tired’, a bare-bones blues lament that sounds as though it has been rescued from the Library of Congress Recordings, wrings the maximum out of its sparse arrangement, as does ‘Water in the Well’ which consists of little more than lead vox, acoustic guitar and vocal percussion. Aside from the clear blues influence, the relaxed late sixties sway of Crosby, Stills and Nash and ‘Notorious Byrd Brothers’-era Byrds heard on ‘End to Start’ and ‘The Slave Song’ permeate the set. The vaguely creepy, music box gone wrong ‘Rosemary Street’ serves as a tangent, swerving off into Cream-style heavy rock towards the close, a nod to Lewis’ former band and ample proof of his guitar-shredding ability. Drawing to a close after eleven tracks at a compact thirty five minutes, the album grows in stature with repeated listens, the songs gently seeping into the subconscious with each play.



Track Listing:-
1 Take It Easy
2 Back To The Fountain
3 Time To Choose
4 Sick And Tired
5 Rosemary Street
6 Sold My Soul
7 End To Start
8 Water In The Well
9 Race Against The Sun
10 The Slave Song
11 Round Way Wrong


Label Links:-
http://muddywolfrecords.com/buy-music/



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