Jimmi Carr : Upstream
The first thing that stands out about Jimmi Carr's fourth album, Upstream, is the creatively symbolic cover art. Illustrator Scott Marr has beautifully depicted the struggle between nature and the destructive influences caused by man; a choking chimney, a leaking tap, an atom bomb in a tea cup.
In the trend of artists such as Xavier Rudd, John Butler and Jack Johnson, just to name a few, Carr's warm tones and spirited energy for creating music seems inspired by the natural environment that surrounds him, in this case the Blue Mountains. His sound is earthy, sincere and depicts all the essences of blues, roots and folk rock.
From the album opener, Aint No Way, the message is clear; Carr has concerns about his world: "There's trouble in the suburbs / There's trouble in the hills... there's trouble everywhere I turn / Every time I turn around... there's profit in the trouble / There's gold inside them hills... the day is going to come, we'll be breathing from a tank / So count your lucky oxygen and put some in the bank".
The rollicking City Of Plenty cleverly uses horns and keys to bring a funkier sound to proceedings while Halo experiments further with a distorted vocal and far more electric sound. Broken Paw and Hurt Yourself choose to dabble in concerns of the boy / girl kind with the former insisting: "Baby tell me I'm your man / Don't leave me stranded on a grain of sand / Put down that gun, take me by the hand", and the latter: "Nobody can love you, 'til you love yourself".
Jimmi Carr has cleverly incorporated pedal steel guitar, harmonica, horns and percussion throughout the album to add some diversity. His guitar and vocal lead a spirited collection of easy-listening tracks that engage and relax the listener with the delicate finger-picked ballad Don't Wait Up and Fade Out closing out the album.
It is comforting to know that there are still musicians staring out at all of Mother Nature's splendour and taking their craft from the front porch to the studio with such passion and sincerity.
Best Track: Don't Wait Up
If You Like These, You'll Like This: Three THE JOHN BUTLER TRIO, How We Operate GOMEZ, Trouble RAY LAMONTAGNE
In A Word: Warm
Label : Altitdue Music