Friday, June 29, 2012

Record of the Month - Classic

Another installment of a disk I have enjoyed over the years. I'm trying to keep the Record of the Month posts to be fairly new releases. Classics are going to be ones that are at least 10 years old.

For 2011, I thought I'd focus on debut disks - just to make it more challenging for me. I don't think you'll care one way or the other.

I know I've been down the review road with other Marti Jones disks, but since this is debut album year, I figured I should at least cover her Unsophisticated Time recording.

I know I'm a bit biased, but I do find it to be her second best overall disk.

A bit rock, a bit pop, a bit folk and a bit alternative (well, for 1985, since there was no spandex, no electronics, no gimmicks). It's really Jones and her clear alto.

While there are a number of catchy songs ("(If I Could) Walk Away", "Show and Tell", "Talk to Me", "Lonely is as Lonely Does"), but not built for radio, let alone radio hits - not then and certainly not now.  The shame is, they are all likeable and singable sings, but since it was 1985, if you weren't Cyndi Lauper with a video in heavy rotation that included some WWF guys, you were dead in the radio waters.

Jones' soon to be husband, Don Dixon, produced the disk and wrote a lot of the music as well, but there are other writers who contributed.  And it's nicely balanced so not all of it is easy to sing stuff.

"The Element Within Her" is different for a pop singer.  Ditto with "Rhythm of Shallow Breathing".   It says more to Dixon's production and arrangement style than it probably does to Jones' talent.  Then there is the more pop-frantic "Neverland", which while not bad, probably is my least favourite song.

If there is a "hit" on here, it is "Fallow You All Over the World".  Without a doubt it is her most requested song at any concert she does and it's nice, but it isn't my most favourite of hers, even on this debut.  I am much more a fan of "Show and Tell", "Walk Away" and the "Element Within Her".

And when I say some songs are better than others, well that is true, but there really isn't a bad song on the album. Pushing 30 years later, I still play it often.

The one big problem - though not for me - is that it was never issued on CD. For a nanosecond efolkmusic offered it as a digital download, where I snagged it (though I still own the vinyl copy).  Dixon emailed me not that long ago asking if people would be interested in remastered versions of Jones' music on a flash drive. It's an interesting mode of delivery and her second, third and fourth disk are in dire need of remastering, but I don't know if it will actually happen. Or when.

Still, if you have a chance to sample or buy Unsophisticated Time, I don't think you'd be disappointed.

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