MUSIC REVIEW- Join in: Nice Jenkins' 'party' fun for all
I can't begin to describe how happy I am to be listening to The Nice Jenkins album. I'm happy for a number of reasons. Most importantly, it gives me a chance to be alone with the band. I cherish that one-on-one time with music. There's nothing like an uninterrupted conversation between me and a new CD. I get to know the music better that way– on an intimate level.
And so, on an early morning with a cup of black tea and a slice of jam toast in hand, I extracted The World Famous, Hallelujah, Cotton Candy Rent Party from the press kit, and headed into my dining room.
The album begins with a dude named Edward attempting to make his way into the party. It's unclear whether Edward gets in, but the party definitely starts with the next track.
Happy As Corn evokes the image of walking into a jubilant house party with friends and good times abundant. A candy shop Wurlitzer smiles at a distorted electric guitar, mimicking the same riff in the back corner near the keg. The carnival takes off from there.
The next stop is a mariachi-style number called Mucho Pince complete with accordion and lyrics about the workingmans plight. This leads back to an '80s new-wave punk ditty on throwing a rent party. And all before the actual singer-songwriting begins.
But it does come, in moments and dashes throughout the record. Proud accomplishments of guitar and vocals arranged with light percussion and harmonious vocal overdubs pull together other, more random, selections.
Regardless of directional influence on any other songs, they never seem contrived or trite. The Nice Jenkins do a great job of incorporating elements into workable sound. Because of this, The World Famous, which is a surprisingly short 25 tracks long, doesnt get boring.
During my sit-down and chat with The Nice Jenkins' album, I was happy to find that not only is it intelligent and musically diverse, but it's also lyrically and vocally wide-ranging.
If music were a woman, then the instrumentation would be the body and face. (Work with me on this one.) Listening to a band without the lyrics is like just paying attention to a woman's physical features. A beautiful woman can become ugly real quick if she opens her mouth and has nothing intelligent or interesting to say. In the same way, bad lyrics can ruin a perfectly good instrumental tune.
The Nice Jenkins need not worry in that regard. I thoroughly enjoyed the words of The World Famous There's just enough irony to keep the topics from coming across as hokey. At the same time, I was not bogged down with such flowery and deep lyricism that it made my head hurt or cost my interest in the song. Nice balance, Nice Jenkins.
And so, by the end of my morning tea time and three times through The World Famous, Hallelujah, Cotton Candy Beat Party, I had heard everything from contemporary jazz, bluegrass, late-era Beatles musings, to indie-pop.
And that was just in the first 40 minutes of this odyssey. I really can't complain at all. Honestly, I didn't skip any songs. I just rode the bizarre ride for as long as it took me.