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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Review: Joshua Jesty - Finally, Joshua Jesty Is Famous, All The Hits, Volume 15

Joshua Jesty – Finally, Joshua Jesty Is Famous, All The Hits, Volume 15
2008, Joshua Jesty

Your first impression of Joshua Jesty might be that he’s a funny guy. To look at the title of his CD or listen to the first track, a rap tune called The Master’s Back, you’d expect he’s a novelty act. Far from it. Jesty is a brooding songwriter who plays in dark and sometimes muddy tones until he finds a seam of beauty and then he rides it for all its worth. Jesty has an album of 21 songs called Finally, Joshua Jesty Is Famous, All The Hits: Volume 15. You can’t buy the album in stores, but you can download all of the songs off his webpage. Jesty has a unique set of payment options. You can donate to him what you think the album is worth, if you’re broke you can forward the page to however many people you think it’s worth ($10=10 people), or you can donate to a charity and tell him about it.

So Joshua Jesty is unique, but what about the music? Take a look at the epic that is The River Curves, comparing the curves of a river to those of a beloved. The tune sounds like something Radiohead might have written, and has a very repressed sadness that underlies it. The quasi-Lo-Fi sound helps in setting this mood, as does the layer guitar/piano/bass wall of sound Jesty captures on the disc. Jesty’s website says he wrote it while going to the bathroom. Just thought you’d like to know. Stephanie is another song full of regret, balancing its sweetness with controlled fear.

My favorite song here is Ms. Closed Off. It’s a great Matchbox 20 style song. Very musically interesting and introspective; A quiet opening turns into a heavy guitar motif that is very tuneful and full of great, mellow hooks. This song has commercial potential; I could see it placed in a movie or television soundtrack with great ease. Junk Your Head is a great rocking tune with angular guitar work and frenetic energy. The song is part punk and part pop and would do well on radio. Other highlights include Turf The Law, The One Inside Your head, Get To You and That’s When She Smiles.

Joshua Jesty is refreshing. There are no pop filters here. No distinct attempts to be commercial. Joshua Jesty captures the innate sense of musical creation. He’s writing for himself, not pop radio. The results are mixed. A handful of the 21 tracks offered here are sketchbook material. Most of them are good to really good listening material, but there are three or four tracks on the CD with significant potential. The willingness to create for himself and not take himself too seriously bodes well for Joshua Jesty. The results of his writing and performance make for good (and sometimes great) listening. I suspect these abilities will grow over time and he will become a complete songwriter (with a slightly warped world view). Finally, Joshua Jesty Is Famous, All The Hits: Volume 15 might just be prophetic.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Joshua Jesty, download Finally, Joshua Jesty Is Famous, All The Hits: Volume 15, get a free monthly song fix, or learn the neurotic impact of having your birthday be two days before Christmas at Be sure to check it out. This guy really is quite entertaining.

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