It was recently recommended to me that I pick up a copy of Jackson Jackson and the Citizens’ new CD "Low Ceilings and High Tides", and although I had no idea what I was buying, I ordered a copy from CDBaby.
The CD arrived in the mail about two days before I was to leave on a trek from Northern California to New Mexico and I decided to wait until I’d gotten underway to listen to it. I had to travel to Los Angeles first and I thought I-5 will be its debut.
I put the CD in at the junction of highway 152 and I-5. Holy Cats! Jackson Jackson and the Citizens are great! If I had to classify the music, it I’d call it power pop… but the playing, songwriting, singing, arrangements, sound have such a rich background, I hate to classify the music because it really defies such simple classification.
The singing, both lead and harmony, are very distinctive. This is a record that begs you to sing along, and a one that has you finding complementary harmonies while you do. In short, I was crazy about the disc, and upon arriving at my brother’s house, where we’d arranged a get together of family and friends of all ages, I took the opportunity to host an impromptu “listening party”.
The ages of the listeners ranged from 12 to 78 and my brother has a great stereo system, so these were optimal listening conditions. The folks at the party are all music fanatics, musicians, including one signed musician, and people who are darn near encyclopedic in their knowledge (and critical abilities)…they all loved it. I needed to order several more copies, and know that the party resulted in some additional sales from the guests. In fact, my daughter engineered the song “Land and Sea” to be played at her first high school dance this year!
There were several requests to hear songs a second and third time (I insisted on a ‘straight through’ first listen) and we played the CD four or five times that afternoon and evening. I’m not going to analyze every song or talk about textures etc. as it has all been done before by many others, but several songs had me humming, and thinking, from the first notes. Back on the road, against the backdrop of the vast southwest, this record made the drive a great pleasure.
The last two things I’ve raved about were the Mudcrutch album and the film Gran Torino - this record is at least as good as those. Go take a listen at Jackson Jackson’s site or better yet, just order it at CDBaby. In times where many of us think that great records are behind us, it is affirming to know that they are still being made. If you listen to this CD and don't love it, I'll be surprised.
Thanks for the music Jackson Jackson and the Citizens, it was the best money I’ve spent this year.
- Randy Phelps
Moderator for www.tdpri.com
Diamonds, Dust & Glass review
Some records you listen to and the guy is a great songwriter, but maybe his voice is not quite right, or the players are amazing, but the arrangements are weird or the songs just aren’t strong...
There’s a guy name Scott Thurston, who plays in Tom Petty's band, used to play with Jackson Brown and has been around LA for a long time. Everyone who knows him, or knows about him, wants him in their band because he is music. He has great taste, always knows the right instrument, the right settings and sings great harmonies.
I always wondered what Scott's record would sound like, and I think my imagination had an image of the last two Jackson Jackson records... just music in the best possible sense.
Diamonds Dust & Glass has really good songs, It’s distinct, unique, really nicely arranged, contains well played instruments, and is mixed really well. Just really really great stuff.
These songs make you want to get in your truck and just drive. These songs make you think of your first decent apartment and hanging around with friends on a Sunday afternoon, still a little hungover but at peace.
These songs have real lyrics about real stuff, images you don't hear all the time, tongue in cheek lines and the emotion of someone singing because he wants to. This isn't product, it is just music.
I watched the much maligned "Country Strong" film the other night and I dug the part where the young man, when offered a chance at the brass ring that cost a trip to becoming a product for a demographic, opted instead to find and build an audience of people who want to hear good music while they drink some beer. To play music he wanted to hear, on his terms... not a product.
When music is real, when the stories ring true and the playing is in search of a sound and not a “hook”, you get records like this one.
I'm an unabashed Jackson Jackson and the Citizens fan, and if we had scores of folks making music like this we'd be talking about their records in 40 years, just like we’re still talking about George Harrison’s” All Things Must Pass”, Pink Floyd’s “Meddle”, Carol King’s “Tapestry” and Led Zeppelin “IV” today.
Great CD from an up and coming local band. The songs on this CD are full of wonderful lyrics that really get you moving - You will end up singing & dancing along. I was so excited to see this band live. They put on an amazing live show!!! Check them out in the Portland area. You will run out & download their songs right after.
- Norine Mickel
In a day and age where most bands are concerned with style over talent , it is refeshing to hear genuine band that moves you. Low Ceilings and High Tides was a total surprise and one of my favorite albums of this year. The harmonies & musicianship are what makes this CD stand out. It is a complete record where great lyrics, instrumentation and composition all come together perfectly. I can't wait to hear what comes next!
Low Ceilings and High Tides is one of the best albums of the year! This CD is a must have for fans of well crafted, soul stirring music. Simply brilliant!!!
- Sophie Ford
I've been a fan of Jackson Jackson and the Citizens since I first heard their music, and Low Ceilings and High Tides is no exception. These guys hum together. The music is clear, easy to listen to, and when it seems to be popular to have instruments drown out vocals, the vocals really stand out. If you get a chance to see these guys live, definately do.
- Lisa Balzhiser