it will distinguish Jackie Greene as a talent to be reckoned with. Jackie Greene, "Giving Up the Ghost", 429 Records, 2008.
An Amazing CD
I must admit that I had never heard of Jackie Greene before I heard this CD and I am now a staunch fan. His style, for lack of a better word, perhaps creations would better suit him, range from ballads to blues to rock to folk. It is hard to label him as he is so at home with any genre of music it seems. His music is full of adventure and he uses a wide array of instruments. Diversity rules the CD; every song has a different kind of sound and none of the songs disappoint. The album is big and full and polished. He is not only talented as an artist but equally as a song writer. What really impresses me about this album is the range of emotions heard the songs. "Like a Ball and Chain" is upbeat while "Prayer for Spanish Harlem" is sincere and beautiful. The entire album is marked by a freshness which we have not had in pop music for a long time and the music is layered and lush. This is album that will distinguish Jackie Greene as a talent to be reckoned with.
Rock and Roll is here to stay, but that doesn't mean it's going anywhere. This is a good, though highly derivative album, that makes me wonder if we haven't really hit the "end" of rock and roll. The form fulfilled its purpose years ago, touched the sublime heights a few times, but now it's just a genre waiting for yet another practitioner. Jackie Greene is another practitioner, very talented, but it's only rock and roll.
Yep, I have to say I enjoyed every song. That isn't to say that each is a favorite, but this is an album you can listen through without hitting any buttons. Perhaps a hair on the overproduced side, it is nonetheless a great "american" rock album. From the soft poppy intro of 'Shaken' to the rockin and a rollin big bash closeout of Ghosts Of Promised Lands, this is an ear pleaser. Greene's voice is pleasant and has a good range, though I would not say he is overly dynamic. His lyrics are … more
Jackie Greene has a nice light tenor voice, a competent band, and a steady danceable beat. This album also has forgettable lyrics, catchy but predictable tunes, and uninspired arrangements. When you want some nice folk rock for parties, this will be an inoffensive choice. I'd like to hear Greene perform someone else's compositions. Or maybe wait for his songwriting to mature.
Until I received this album in the mail, I had never heard of Jackie Greene. When I got the chance to listen to Mr. Greene, though, I was pleasantly surprised. "Giving Up The Ghost" is strong pop rock. Sure, there are traces of Springsteen, a drop of Dylan, a little Mellancamp here and there, and plenty of instruments you won't here on Top 40 Radio, but I wouldn't call this particular album Americana. This stuff would fit comfortably between Gavin DeGraw and John Mayer. It's better than that type … more
Jackie Greene nicely shifts between folk, rock, and blues styles on this album, making it a nice listen for those whose tastes may range somewhere between Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, The Wallflowers, and David Gray. The album starts out with Shaken, a smooth, bluesy song. Another nice bluesy/jazzy tune is I Don't Live In A Dream. Uphill Mountain has a nice basic melody and rhythm, and is followed by Don't Let The Devil Take Your Mind and the soulful folk song Prayer For Spanish Harlem. Another … more
It s possible, but hardly common, for a singer-songwriter to sound echoes of Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Gram Parsons, Elvis Costello and Paul Westerberg, all of which Jackie Greene does on his fifth album.
The hard part, which Greene seems to pull off so effortlessly, is triggering those echoes without sacrificing an authentic voice of his own. That may be one meaning of the album's title: Greene seems comfortable acknowledging the ghosts of pop music past, perhaps because he's in thrall to none of them.
In "Uphill Mountain" alone, he references colorfully named characters such as Peeping Tom and Madame Rose, name-checks Elmore James and John Henry and tosses off such bons mots as "You got to take just what you are given/'Cause luck only matters with the cards and the women," staking his claim as a peer, not a shadow.
The San Francisco-based musician opens the album advising the listener, "California is the place to be, but I should warn you about the things I've seen." He proceeds to reel off one fascinating, detail-rich tale or morality play after another. Somehow, as literate as his lyrics can read, they never sound academic, rarely self-conscious: "I don't pretend to make the world feel better / I don't live on the moon," he sings in "I Don't Live in a Dream." No brag, just fact.
He's a skilled multi-instrumentalist and has been a virtual one-man band on previous albums, but this time he's assembled a crack team of Americana/roots ...