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Mike Ross’s new album ‘Jenny’s Place’

 

With Christmas now out of the way for another year, I am slowly getting back into the swing of things and returning to my routine of reviewing new music. For my first review of 2017 after the Christmas break, I chose Mike Ross’s new album ‘Jenny’s Place’ from the long backlog of albums for me to review.

As I set it playing on my musical Bluetooth Christmas tree whilst I cooked my dinner (yes really), the first thing that struck me is how great the album is to jive to. The first track Bamboozled lulls you in with an easy-going intro and first verse, which has hints of Jace Everett encapsulated within. The chorus and the bridge go all guns a-blazing before the slow verses kick back in once more. For a first track, it is a great intro to the album, and really sets the vibe for the rest of the release.

The strength of the album continues with the blues number The Big Picture and Dakota Red, which has a slightly electro-pop vibe. Dakota Red is a long track at 5:29, but it still manages to captivate with its catchy backing track and distorted guitars.

Coffeecan Telephone is an absolutely superb track, with a wholesome fifties blues feel, and is my favourite track on the album. The next track Baby I Love You is a decent track, which flows with the rest of the album – however cannot quite match the former for quality. Something about it just does not sit right with me, but I cannot explain it. Maybe it is the offbeat pace or the slightly repetitive nature, but I just didn’t really ‘feel’ this track too much.

Harpo is another great track, as is Loved Another Woman (which I presume is a follow up to Baby I Love You) – although totally different paced tracks in their own right, they are equally full of wholesome goodness. Over halfway through the album now and it is still delivering the goods, which is really something.

Jenny (Sun Goes Down) is another beautiful track, along with Dark Powder. Both are extremely emotional tracks and full of power – both great tracks with strong ballad undertones. Loveslide and Dolphins continue with the onslaught of stupendous song writing, especially the latter – which becomes almost hypnotic as you listen to it, with organs and slow guitar work weaving the dream scape of the longest track of the album. It’s an epic by even modern day song writing standards at 7:59.

Road of Love truly is a great finale track, full of energy as it winds on its upbeat path, finishing the album on a truly strong note.

Overall, ‘Jenny’s Place’ is a stonking album from Mike Ross, and really earns the title of my favourite album of 2017 so far (har-har). In all seriousness, it truly is a great album. I thoroughly recommend picking it up if you are into blues and country-style rock, or heck even just good old rock and roll. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Niki Flynn

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