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Mini-Review: Jeb Loy Nichols – Strange Faith & Practice

23/09/2009

jln-sf&p

This is one of those albums where I had NO idea what to expect. I had heard of Jeb Loy Nichols via a few different sites/blogs but I had never listened to any of his music and didn’t know anything of his background as an artist. My first proper introduction came a couple of months ago when I was sent an ‘album taster’ containing 3 tracks, which i’ll admit took me a while to get round to, however once I did I was pleasantly surprised and intrigued to hear more. Fast forward to the present and I was sent a full copy of the album for review.

Describing the style of music on the album is difficult, there is a very strong element of jazz (unsurprising as the album is executive produced by Benedic Lamdin aka Nostalgia 77), with some blues, soul and even a bit of a country flavour. Album opener ‘Sometime, Somewhere, Somebody’ perfectly sets the mood for the disc, Jeb’s soothing yet sombre vocal floats perfectly over the understated guitar and sax backing to provide a very pleasant and relaxing track, that is probably my favourite on the album. Also of note is the title track, ‘Strange Faith and Practice’, which is probably the most straight up jazz track on the album, and the touching ‘Next Time’.

My only real criticism of the album, and it’s not even really a valid criticism at that but i’ll proceed, is that all the tracks are rather mournful and sombre and it would have been nice to have a couple of more ‘cheerful’ or upbeat tracks on the album to even it out a little. As I said this is really a valid criticism just a personal preference, and it is probably the only ‘complaint’ I can level at the album.

From a production point of view, and in terms of the instrumentation, the album is top notch, and although Jeb dosn’t have what I would call a great voice, his vocals sit comfortably alongside the great musicians to create a very good, if somewhat understated, album.

LINKS: myspace

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