I supported the Kickstarter effort because enough was of interest to me, and he runs in a few circles of musicians I enjoy; namely the Square Peg Alliance folks.
As part of the supported level I received an advance digital copy of his newest album, "The Reintroduction of Nick Flora". It took me a few weeks to roll around to giving it a proper listen. I'm sorry that I waited.
I'm not very familiar with Nick's music. I downloaded his trio of cover albums and they were able to produce a smile. Not long ago I downloaded "Great Escape" off of Noisetrade and it was enjoyable but got lost in my sea of background music selection.
It is difficult to describe this album but I can say that I like it. A LOT. It doesn't squeeze nicely into a single genre. There is a great mix of some pop, rock, ballads, Vegas lounge style and blues. What blows my mind is that each is done well and so enjoyable. Generally an experiment in styles can sound overproduced and the song gets lost behind horns that just sound out of place and hurt my ears.
For me it comes off as a soundtrack for a movie that I want to see. Each song captures a moment well and doesn't get caught overstretching or saying too much. I find myself humming these songs throughout the day.
Some specific song thoughts:
"Hard Man to Love" is an edgy declaration of "take it or leave it".
"Luckiest Man of All" - probably the catchiest song to me. I love the changes between verses.
"Everybody Asked About You" - this is probably my favorite song on the album. It builds so well and the closing borders on remorse/realization and rebirth. Some good stuff here:
Heartbeat finally we've broke through
You'll find in this life it's all on you
Everybody asked about you
So hold strong to your heart and listen close
for so long the hard part has run its course
Now everybody asks about you
Everybody asks about you
They're telling lies, so don't believe it
You've got greatness in you, boy and I have seen it
So just hold on
"Good Enough" - I love this ending song too. The intro, the lonely vocal bridge and the powerful backup vocals are well placed. Of course they aren't in this clip.
I say if you get a chance get this album and give it a listen. It's great for a roadtrip or a movie.
My brain soon started filling in the movie that holds this soundtrack. The review pretty much ends here and any further reading is just me writing down some crazy idea for a dream movie that loosely ties together a handful of songs.
The youngest in the Jackson family of 4 brothers is getting married. The big "last night of freedom party" is his brothers taking him from small town Missouri to the big city for a night of celebration.
The Jackson family house caught on fire one night. One of the boys, Simon, managed to wake the family up and the boys were saved; the parents were trapped in a room behind the fire and died. Rube feels like as the oldest he should've done more and saved the entire family.
Rube Jackson- oldest brother, once the bigwig but is now bitter and plugging away in a dead end job. He seems to choose staying in a rut of self hatred. He's separated from his wife but his pride seems to be the only obstacle to reconciliation.
Jud - brother #2 who is a party animal somehow engaged to a sweet lady, everyone wonders how long he'll stick around and why he pretends that he'd get married. Wherever he goes a train wreck of empty bottles, loud music and craziness follows.
Simon - very upstanding guy and everyone knows he's dependable; after all he was the hero.
Joe - youngest and about to be married.
"The Reintroduction" plays as Joe is packing his bags 3 days before his wedding. The brothers make an odd lot but they're family. 3 out of 4 of them are packing - Rube can't bring himself to go.
"Hard Man to Love" plays as Jud shows that he is leading this celebration for his brother. Leaves home with a bag full of beverages.
"Hometown Kids" - Rube is moping around thinking of all the things he should be doing but can't seem to take that step away from self pity. Doesn't step toward his brother or his estranged wife.
"Lost at Sea" - Simon is the stable family guy. He had to step in as their parents died in a house fire. He's packing his stuff and anxious to step out of the burden of being Mr. Reliable.
"Nobody Gets out Clean" plays as the road trip goes along without Rube. He couldn't be drawn out of his personal pit. Occasional flashes to a Rube realizing he's lonely. It carries into the night of revelry. Flashy lights and shady clubs. It turns out Jud is controlled and knows when to quit and pulls the brothers away and back to the suite at the hotel. He sends Simon and Joe back in a cab while he settles up the bill. Simon is like a puppy chasing dandelions in a field and doesn't want to stop. He hires some ladies for more entertainment back at the hotel suite. Jud arrives 10 minutes later and clears everyone out - loudly and forcefully
"Young Man's Game" - As the next day begins Jud calls home and realizes he's been missing out but he was never that far away, he just made it look that way. Family life maybe pretty good. Simon realizes he's been a well landscaped exterior to a house that's rotting. Inside he's the guy that he resented Jud for being.
"Happy You're Happy" - Later in the day Joe is cornered by the bosses of the ladies who were booted out. These gents aren't too happy about the treatment of their employees and want money or blood.
Kick & Scream - As the fighting starts and people are scrambling the Police show up, the trio are arrested and in jail. They place a call to Rube to come pick them up.
"Make it Out Alive" - A long quiet roadtrip home.
"Luckiest Man of All" - another quirky song, it plays as the wedding ceremony happens. Ends with Rube picking up a phone and placing a call.
"Everybody Asked About You" - during the wedding feast there's an empty chair where Rube should be.
Good Enough - As the general dancing at the reception starts, in walks Rube to join the celebration.