Review: Jack Foley
THE third album by Turin Brakes may have been recorded in Brixton
rather than LA, but the sunshine melodies and happy go-lucky harmonies
still reside comfortably in the Sunshine State.
JackInABox is a delicious album on many levels, not
least because it continues to further Ollie Knights' and Gale
Paridjanian's musical progression into an ever-more expansive
There is a danger that the duo might sound a little repetitive
given the confines of their acoustic guitar sound, yet by wrapping
some lush pianos, some shuffling beats, and yet still keeping
it simple, Turin Brakes show no sign of outstaying their welcome
Take the lead single, Fishing For A Dream, for instance.
It's instantly recognisable, yet in its enchanting chorus, there
is a more epic sound to the record that is evidence of growing
The same is true for much of the album as a whole - this is no
mere retread of Ether Song or The Optimist,
but a furthering of the Turin Brakes' journey which is well worth
hitching a ride on.
Opening track, They Can't Buy The Sunshine, for instance,
is a warm introduction that's sure to generate a warm glow of
familiarity among fans of the duo.
While Red Moon follows along in lively fashion, featuring
a clap-happy backdrop and an urgent drum beat that places the
acoustic guitars in the background.
The rousing chorus, especially, is evidence of the more expansive
sound, and hints at a bright future for the duo - indeed, it's
a shame there's not a little more of it.
But there's still plenty to enjoy.
The melancholic Road To Nowhere is a biting tale of
tragedy and death that features the duo at their most bitter,
no doubt influenced by the harsh world surrounding them.
Lyrics include, 'oh dad, aint it sad that we're on this road
to nowhere'/ 'I'm only nine, I'm already feeling the strain/ it
seems everyone is dying/ or curling up in pain/ well it's just
a loser's game'.
Likewise, Last Clown, another sad tale that demonstrates
the duo's strong songwriting ability. It concludes with a wonderful
shuffling drum and piano sequence that, once more, demonstrates
the more expansive sound of the album.
Above The Clouds is another classic, containing a nice
strings/violin background that is quite enchanting. The track
is more than capable of sending a shiver down the spine.
While the driving title track, JackInABox, is a lively,
robust piece of pop that recalls that Southern Californian sunshine
vibe I alluded to earlier.
If there is one criticism, it's that the occasional track does
suffer from a feeling of over-familiarity, but it's a small price
to pay for an album that screams out quality.
JackInABox therefore springs a pleasant surprise that
only serves to enhance the reputation of one of London's most