04 February 2013 (released)
03 February 2013
There’s a long and generally undistinguished list of actors trying their hand at music and vice versa. It usually doesn’t work out and, after a couple of attempts they sheepishly crawl back to their comfort zone. There are very few that have a made success of both and there are some that can do neither, yet still earn a living.
Neil Jackson is an actor who has spent six months on this, his first album. The set up is basic: acoustic guitar, double bass, the occasional strings, and…his voice.
The opening track Holding a Candle is pleasant enough song nicely combining strings and rhythms but also shows the limitation of Jackson’s voice. Beyond the lower registers he’s struggling. That’s not to say it’s bad, just restricted and that does affect the music.
The album gets into a groove, maybe a trough, as it does become very tedious at times with each song just drifting into the other. It actually saps the energy of the listener; albums shouldn’t be hard work to listen to.
There’s a spark in Gonna Have To Change which has some good vibes about only let down by his aforementioned vocal limitation. After that there’s a dull run to the end of the album. Apart from Falling in Love which has a slight John Barry/James Bond ambience about it.
As all the songs are credited to Neil Jackson, he has to take responsibility for the lyrics. Soppy tosh like ‘watch the frowns turn into smiles’ – Drive and ‘the baby got the wind at her heals’ also in Drive is pretty much par for the course.
All said and done this is not a bad album per se: it sounds good, well performed and produced. It just doesn’t grab the listener they way an album should and even after a fair few listens most of the songs are barely identifiable. One can’t knock an artist for experimenting or trying something different. But, based on the evidence to hand, music isn’t Neil Jackson’s next best step, unless he sees himself playing muzak in expensive hotel bars and lounges.