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Stephen Jacques

Send Them Love

Review by Gary Hill

This is the third set from Stephen Jacques I've reviewed. All three have some strong music. All three also get pulled down a bit for me because of the vocals. There are times when those vocals work better for me, but they sometimes miss the mark. The song-writing and instrumental work, though, is generally good enough and interesting enough to make up for it. I'm not sure that this one is stronger than the others, but I know it's not weaker.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Send Them Love
There is a dramatic folk rock groove as this gets started. There is a bit of a Bob Dylan vibe to this cut. The tune is driving and catchy.
Point Reyes Farm
More rocking, this is another solid tune that works well. It has some Lou Reed vibes at times, along with The Strawbs in some ways. I really love the guitar soloing on this thing.
Symphony of Freaks
A driving hard rocker, this is fun, but it feels a little rough around the edges at times. Then again, that brings an almost punky edge, while violin (or should I say fiddle?) brings some country angles. Some of the guitar work on this, along with that violin, really emphasize that country element.
Utah Countryside

More on the folk end of the spectrum, this one has some intriguing musical textures. Harmonica lends a down-home vibe. This is more stripped back than much of the music here.

Night of the Wine
A driving rocker, I love the guitar that dances over a lot of this. This has some strong energy and a real Dylan kind of feeling to it. The hooks are solid, and that guitar just pushes it all over the top, making this a standout number.
All I Have to Do is Dream
This old chestnut gets a somewhat raw, yet trippy telling here. This is interesting and the distant effect on the vocals really works well for it.
French Wake Up Call
Rocking guitar brings this number into being. The track has a DIY/punky angle to it. It's fun, but not one of the standouts.
Slowed Down World
This rocker has some cool instrumental textures, but just feels a little awkward to me in general concept and structure. That makes it not work so well.
Texas to Brooklyn
Edgy singer-songwriter rocker, this is one of the highlights of the disc. Everything just works particularly well, and the instrumental fills really elevate. The same is true of the solo section.
Heaven Beyond
I'm not sold on the vocals on this song, but the musical arrangement has some intriguing moments in it its intricacies. This is a stripped back tune, that I think would work really well as an instrumental.
Swept Away
This rocker has a punk meets old-time rock and roll edge to it. My biggest complaint on this number is that right at the end this awesome piano part comes in, and rather than run with it for  while, that's where they chose to fade the song out to end.
Teaspoon Me Joy
Another rocking tune, this works well. It's one of the better cuts here. There are no molds broken or paradigms shifted, but it's just a particularly effective song.
Midnight Lover
While I dig the Americana guitar sound on this, the vocals bring a bit too much DIY to it for me. I really like the tasty guitar solo on this a lot.
 
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