Signs & Signifiers
by: JD McPherson
06.25.2012 | Selected by Player 2
I know nothing about JD McPherson but heard a track from this album on the radio that caught my ear. That song, and from the bit I've heard since the album at large, have a retro 1950s rock sound which sounded good and seemed like something a little different to get in the rotation.
This album is great for those that have a particular affinity for the rockabilly style of old. I am not one of them.
JDM has an authentic sound. I just didn’t hear anything that made me want to listen to this album over the real deal. It sounds more like somebody living in the past instead of trying to bring it forward.
I tired of the song that initially hooked me into this album pretty quickly, but much of the album is still a good listen to me. Some tracks are more of the 50s rock sound and some are less, the title track being one of the latter and a good one to expand beyond what can get pegged as a schtick. "Scratching Circles" drips of that old time sound but is a lot of fun. There's enough variance and originality here for me to like it even after putting it down for a while.
Player 2 wasn't kidding about the retro 50's sound. I forgot that was what this album was and the first time I listened I had to double check I was playing the right album. Turns out I was, and JD continued to rock me with what seems to be an authentic attempt to channel the sounds and instruments of that sweet sweet decade…with a little 60's in there too.
I really enjoy this album. It's simple but not boring, and the sound really is a great throwback to some of the best music created. I know I thought of Back to the Future at least twice. "HEY CHUCK! IT'S YOUR COUSIN MARVIN! MARVIN BARRY!"
Nice work JD, and well done player 2. There is zero chance I would have found this on my own. I love old 50's and 60's rock … this will definitely stay in rotation at the Las Vegas branch of BT.
I've got to be in the right mood for Rockabilly and 50s style Rock 'n' Roll, but I thought JD McPherson was entertaining. He has a lot of elements in his music ranging from Chuck Berry, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis – just to name a few. This style is something that I grew up on, due to my dad playing this style when he was young musician. So, it's refreshing to hear from time to time. I'm not sure how much I'll revisit this album, but it's something that will be a good break from Metal every once in awhile. All in all, I think it's a pretty fun album.
In a time when revivals of mid-century trends and genres are becoming the norm and we're seeing new takes on soul, R&B, vocal jazz, and gospel, it's interesting to hear a record of roots rock and roll. Harking back to the dawn of the genre, McPherson recorded the quick vintage-sounding LP in a completely analog environment, capturing a lot of the depth and warmth of his deceptively simple songs in an aesthetic to match. While many revivals come off as overindulgent, this recording maintains its genuine flavor by avoiding the pitfall of the mashup and using modern style in a subtle and contained way. I for one love the rockabilly bass and guitar fills so quick and precise one almost misses them under McPherson's throwback croon.
I think it’s cool that this 50’s sound is cool again. The guy has an awesome voice and clearly has captured the sound and feeling of the genre.
Not my favorite type of music and not something I would listen to over and over again, but a good sound, fun music.