Review: Jack Foley
WHO, I hear you ask yourself, are Lemon Jelly? Do they even exist,
or is the name some figment of my imagination? Well, ..............................
Lemon Jelly definitely exist and to discover them is to strike
musical gold. As mellow as, say, Nightmares On Wax, yet with a
style all of their own, Lemon Jelly have that rare ability to
take a bad day and make it good.
The Staunton Lick, in particular, excels in its simplicity -
a collection of acoustic guitar samples set around a distinctive,
jolly beat, with the occasional synthesizer and some mixing thrown
in; it is, without doubt, one of the singles of any year.
If you haven't heard it yet, then The Staunton Lick is well worth
checking out as an indication of what you can expect from the
rest of the album. In short, it's great and you'll kick yourself
for not finding it sooner.
Lemon Jelly are Fred Deakin and Nick Franglen and they are not
content with merely churning out soulless, chart-friendly tunes
which are gone as quickly as they came.
Each track is a slow builder, in excess of five minutes, which
is great to just sit down and listen to, or have on in the background.
It is music to suit any mood, with the power to lift your spirits
or simply banish away those blues.
Nine tracks are divided into three EPs - The Bath EP, The Yellow
EP, and The Midnight EP - which have previously been released
over a two year period dating back to August 24th, 1998.
The Staunton Lick, ironically, was first released on September
6th, 1999, along with His Majesty King Raam and the Homage to
Patagonia, which has a very moody beat to it.
The opening EP sets the tone of the album, a series of slow-building,
effortlessly cool beats, samples, scratching and synthesizers
that really helps you to chill out.
In The Bath, the first track, is just a nice listen, while Nervous
Tension, the second track, feels quite jazzy but is broken up
with some beautiful piano samples.
As the voiceover which punctuates the track states, "the
purpose of this record is to train you in the art of relaxing
your mind and your body''; that it succeeds is testament to the
skill involved in assembling each track on it.
Moving on to A Tune For Jack, the third track, the album really
begins to find its rhythm and brings the piano contained in previous
tracks to the fore much more.
His Majesty King Raam is, simply, beautiful and requires repeat
listening. It is the type of track which, played loud, has the
capacity to make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.
Yet again, its allure lies in its simplicity. Why not download
it and sample it - you won't be disappointed.
The rest of the album is pretty much the same, always at a very
high standard and occasionally excelling. Among my personal favorites,
aside from The Staunton Lick and His Majesty King Raam, is the
final track, Come, which, I must confess, would not sound out
of place on a Nightmares On Wax album.
It is the type of track that you just can't get enough of, complete
with seductive, simple lyrics, piano, acoustic guitar, a simple
yet soothing beat and some nice mouth-organ. It is a track virtually
guaranteed to have you reaching for the play button to start the
CD all over again.
With so much to recommend it, why not discover Lemon Jelly now?
1. The Bath EP: In The Bath
2. The Bath EP: Nervous Tension
3. The Bath EP: A Tune For Jack
4. The Yellow EP: His Majesty King Raam
5. The Yellow EP: The Staunton Lick
6. The Yellow EP: Homage To Patagonia
7. The Midnight EP: Kneel Before Your God
8. The Midnight EP: Page One
9. The Midnight EP: Come