|Jeremy: Kingdom Come
|2002, Jeremy Morris Music, JCD7777
|CyberHome: http://www.JamRecordings.com Jeremy.Morris@Juno.com
Jeremy Morris boldly goes solo into the realm of progressive instrumental music on his CD Kingdom Come. The album is a spiritual journey that uses clean-toned, wholesome acoustic guitar texturing, synthesized soundbits, and melodic, sometimes racy lead guitar work to carry the listener off into Jeremy's vision of musical enlightenment. The composition tends to be soothing and mellow with wave-ish, smoothly pulsing rhythms articulated with synthesized voicings. Jeremy adds some ascending, spirited lead guitar work to add some contrast to the lulling backdrop.
The compositions strike some balance between the slowly pulsing backdrops and a sense of gradual direction that the arrangements take. The texturing of acoustic guitars against the synthesized substrate creates a rich tonal harmony that facilitates Jeremy's voicing of his musical vision.
|Guitar & All Other Instruments
|1) Flying Hearts
|2) Ocean of Dreams
|3) Flaming Hearts
|4) Born of Water
|5) Children's Song
|6) Kingdom Come
~ Christopher Ruel ~ www.ChrisRuel.com ~ Chris@ChrisRuel.com ~ Chris Ruel's Monthly Spotlight
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Jeremy: Salt the Planet (CD, 51:19); Moonchild MC30427, 1999 Jeremy, aka Jeremy Morris, has created a highly synthesized, (all guitar-driven!), journey into a soundscape that will delight fans of Fonya, ‘70s German synthworks, and Neil Nappe. Back in the ‘80s, the now defunct Audion label offered a work called July by Nappe which is a must-have if you enjoy synth/guitar interplay in a spaced-out, progressive rock vein. Salt the Planet is in many places quite similar to July. (I have recently been in touch with Nappe and he is considering returning to the studio after a long hiatus.) All that said, for now, we can enjoy the excellent work Jeremy offers. Best track on this release is the 7:37 “Earthquake” which is an incredibly ominous, powerhouse of Godzilla-sized synth, great special effects, ripping guitars, and a deliciously relaxing outro to calm one’s scorched neurons after the prior sonic devastation. Old Steve Hackett used to get monster-wild just like Jeremy achieves on this track. We get more Hackett- styled guitars on “Lightyears” which deeply echoes Jeremy’s earlier releases. Now for the critical side of things . . . I feel Salt the Planet needed more real drums and percussion. Less synth-obvious bass-oid textures would also improve things musically. Jeremy is a great composer, multi-instrumentalist musician, and visionary but -- I have never liked fake drums nor that Jan Hammeroid synth bass sound, as on Jeff Beck’s There and Back. Repeated use of these synth percussives tire many ears quickly. By track four, “Heartbeat”, I was feeling that technobeat ennui creeping upon me. For folks big into those early era, ‘70s vintage, all-synth, groundbreaking releases -- Salt the Planet will definitely satisfy. This is especially true on the well done 11:17 title track. Still, for my subjective tastes I prefer more guitar textures evenly balancing synthscapes, with that stringed bass thump, and sweat-drenched, non-digital drumming. ~ John W. Patterson
Jeremy: Pop Heaven - (CD, 49:46) Jam Records JAM JCD-714 Jam Records 3424 Wedgewood Dr. Portage, MI 49024 Cyberhome: http:www.instacom.com/jamrecords I'm a huge fan of the Beatles, and I'm especially fond of one of their old tunes called "And Your Bird Can Sing." Well imagine if you will being subjected to 14 different variations of "And Your Bird Can Sing" by an artist that doesn't quite match up to the Beatles, and you'll have a solid idea of what Jeremy's Pop Heaven has in store for your ears. It's not that Jeremy Morris (he plays every instrument on the CD except for drums) is a bad musician; actually his breezy guitar strumming lends itself well to the mid-60's style rhythms he writes. As far a vocals go, Jeremy's voice is very ethereal and appropriate for the types of songs on the album (albeit a bit too layered at times). So while Jeremy's musical talent is fine, it's in the songwriting where this effort falls a bit short. After giving the CD a few listens, it became almost impossible to distinguish one song from another - they pretty much all sound exactly the same. The repetitive nature of the music coupled with the fact that the melodies aren't very interesting to begin with is too much to forgive for this effort. The pseudo-psychedelia (think Monkees) on the CD quickly becomes very tedious, and the lyrics won't exactly engage your intellect much either("You don't fool me with your smile/I know you're a crocodile/You are just a great big liar/ I can see your pants on fire"). So in the end, while Jeremy is a talented multi-instrumentalist, it remains to be seen if he is capable of writing a wider variety of music. Perhaps if a more adventurous spirit is taken with Jeremy's next outing, he could make the next step to a "Matthew Sweet" style pop sound (which Jeremy sounds capable of at times), but as for now Pop Heaven is indeed pop... but it's very far from heaven. Jeremy Morris can be contacted firstname.lastname@example.org. - Michael Askounes
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