Jim Dead & The Doubters – Pray for Rain (2015)
exemplary artwork by Sarca @ caughtmegaming
Made in the UK Artist #1: Duran Duran
Made in the UK Artist #2: The Charlatans
Made in the UK Artist #3: Elton John
Made in the UK Artist #4: Pet Shop Boys
Made in the UK Artist #5: Jim Dead & The Doubters
Due to the nature of the 1001 albums project, I listen primarily to music released between 1955-2005. When I picked this CD up last year, it felt very out of character to be acquiring an album in its year of release. So for the first time in recent memory, I’ll be reviewing an album that was released in recent memory!
When I listen to a new-to-me artist, I’ve realized I tend to look for three things:
1. Where can I play this?
In the winter I tend to listen to music at home/at work/in the car. Most music works pretty well in one location, but is less effective in others. Some music ain’t bad in 2 of the 3.
Pray for Rain is one of those rare albums that seemed to work equally well, regardless of where or when I listened.
2. What am I listening to/for? (ending on a double preposition, sorry english teachers!)
Am I focusing solely on the music, while the lyrics drift along? Are the words commanding too much attention and disrupting the musical flow?
With this Jim Dead & The Doubters release, the balance is optimal. The music is memorable, the lyrics matter, they mesh nicely.
Some of my favourite musical moments: the 3rd line of the May the Road Rise intro, the Home side snare hits & abrupt ending, the Wooden Kimono groove.
And some lyrical highlights: “played loud music to keep out the noise,” “somewhat lost yet always tethered to home,” “cause those telephone lines tell lies”
3. Do I want to hear more?
A resounding yes, for the reasons above and below.
Each of the tracks on Pray for Rain manages to remind me of something else, yet sound like nothing else. That ability to sound instantly familiar yet completely original kept me coming back, as shown graphically here.
I’m not sure if many artists have albums that provide such agreeable answers to my 3 questions. Which puts Jim Dead & The Doubters (incidentally, terrific backing band name) in pretty exclusive company, smack dab in the middle of the 3-circle diagram.
In the interest of full disclosure, I “knew” Jim prior to listening, as he is a fellow blogger.
Also in the interest of full disclosure, I know (no quotation marks) this is a stellar album regardless.
I now have a new favourite Glaswegian artist.
Well done lads.