John Paul Keith - The Man That Time Forgot
2011, Big Legal Mess Records
2011, Big Legal Mess Records
John Paul Keith has walked the true Indie path, choosing integrity to his musical vision over the sort of compromises that tend to breed success in the traditional music business. Walking away from The Viceroys over concerns over the band's musical direction, Keith lived something of a nomadic musical life over a number of years before finding a home in Memphis. The fiercely independent music scene there embrace Keith at a point when he was ready to give it all up, and has resulted in a resurgence in Keith's songwriting that is stunning. John Paul Keith shows the fruits of his labors on his latest album, The Man That Time Forgot.
The Man That Time Forgot opens with "Never Could Say No", sounding like an alchemic compound derived from the Traveling Wilburys and Jimmy Buffett. It's a fun, catchy tune with a definite 1960's aesthetic. "You Devil You" is a honky-tonk number tied together with impressive piano fills. This is a catchy, fun and danceable number that will stick with you. "Anyone Can Do It" heads into the realm of 1960's garage pop. "Afraid To Look" stays with that aesthetic, using a catchy arrangement to explore living life out of control and the constant fear that something is sneaking up on you.
"The Man That Time Forget" is a melancholy, Roy Orbison-esque number built on a strong melody and a world-weary sense that is palpable. A bit of Beatles influence shows through on the catchy "I Think I Fell In Love Today", splitting that catchy British-style melodicism with the garage, alt-country sound Keith seems to be comfortable with. Rock N Roll presides on "Dry County", a catchy little number that could turn into a roof-raiser in concert. "Somebody Ought To Write A Song About You" is a sweet and sentimental 1970's-style AM radio ballad that may play well to traditional Adult Contemporary formats. Keith revs things up with the rockin' rhythm and blues of "I Work At Night" before closing with a classic-style drinking tune, "The Last Last Call". This last is buoyed by a sort of happy communal desolation that can only be found in the collective brotherhood of a neighborhood watering hole, where dreams and regrets are lined up on the bar and knocked down as easily as shots at happy hour.
John Paul Keith sings with a quiet charisma on The Man That Time Forgot, using an easy delivery to explore songs that themselves flow like water. Keith's integrity to his own musical vision is impressive; a breath of fresh air in the music business. The Man That Time Forgot is definitely worth remembering.
Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)
Learn more about John Paul Keith at www.johnpaulkeith.net or www.myspace.com/johnpaulkeith. The Man That That Time Forgot is available from Amazon.com as a CD, on Vinyl, or as a Download. The album is also available via iTunes.