Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Jordan Zevon - Insides Out - 2008

Jordan Zevon is best known to music fans as Warren Zevon's son: he played on several of his dad's albums; helped produce Warren's final disc, The Wind; and has performed some of his father's songs on a pair of tribute albums. But Warren Zevon fans expecting Jordan's first album on his own to be a sonic chip off the old block are in for a surprise — Insides Out is an accomplished and impressive debut, but it follows a musical path a great deal different than the trail Warren Zevon blazed. The Beatles are a far more recognizable influence on Insides Out than the elder Zevon, and Jordan's smart, energetic pop tunes suggest that Elvis Costello, XTC, and Fountains of Wayne get heavy rotation on his personal playlist; the tunes are well-crafted, hook-laden pop with rich, buoyant keyboards, sharp guitar accents, and lyrics that balance wit with a keen observational eye. While "American Standard" reflects a bit of the same cynicism that was Warren's trademark, the upbeat melody adds a joyful irony to the song that's smart and engaging, and his homage to the ultimate teenage girl ("Camila Rhodes") and the romantic puzzlement of "Home" and "This Girl" show that Jordan has a voice that's very much his own. At the three-quarter mark, Jordan includes a performance of one of his father's lesser-known tunes, "Studebaker," and it's not until then that his vocal resemblance to Warren comes to the fore; elsewhere, Jordan wisely pursues a sound and approach that stand comfortably on their own, and his quick-witted, classicist's approach to pop reflects that the guy took his sweet time honing his talents before making his way to the recording studio. For fans of smart pop, Insides Out is an unexpected delight and the calling card of a major talent to watch. -AMG

If you like Insodes Out" get it here!


wkc said...

This is a nice surprize. Look forward to listening to it. Thanks!

Gyro1966 said...

Thanks for this, I wasn't even aware of it. Sounds good on first listen.

Curty Ray said...

This is one of my favorites for 2008. Very few discs beg to be played cover to cover, this is one of them. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

This is really fantastic...JZ has inherited his Dad's talent, while sounding nothing like him (unlike...say...Julian Lennon).

Curty Ray said...

Great insight. He does not have the cynical approach to life that his father did, thus his music is lighter. (not better, but different) Both are pleasing to listen to.

mnminn said...

Hey Curty Ray! First off, great blog. I really love just going through all the posts and reading the blurbs. I own some of what you have posted, but can't wait to hear the rest. I agree with your earlier comment about this being a favorite of 2008. I think he has some of the insights his father had, but his voice is sweeter/purer and that makes the lyrics come across in a different way. I just love it. Thanks for the post and keep up the great work.
An admirer of your vast collection, J


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