jeremy woods ()

Reviewed by GreyBrow on (Thursday, April 2, 2009) Rated 9 / 10
Category Rating
Track Structure 9
Interest 10
Melody 9
Performance 9
Lyrics 9
Enjoyment 10
Recording Quality 8
Commercial Appeal 8
Overall 9

Back in the 1950s, the Retail Price Index included ground coffee as one of the basket of goods which it tracked. By the 60s and 70s it had been replaced by instant coffee, a position which has only recently changed with the resurgence of “proper” coffee caused largely by the ubiquity of firms like Starbucks and Costa coffee on the high street and the availability of machines like Nescafe’s “Nespresso” along with coffee pods in the home.

“So, what’s this got to do with music?” I hear you ask. Well, bear with me for a moment while I develop my thesis.

Over time, we have a tendency to reject “the status quo” and embrace new ways of doing things but often, after a period of reflection, it turns out that the new ways are not always the best. Take microwaves, for example. Hailed as a revolution in cooking, they are now largely used for heating milk for coffee or knocking out a quick jacket potato. Membership of the Slow Food Movement, on the other hand, continues to grow apace (see Slow Food Foundation).

I suspect (or, maybe, if I was being honest – hope) that a similar thing is happening to music. My early days of listening to music were dominated by the likes of Bob Dylan, James Taylor, the Beatles, Leonard Cohen and the like who would craft a song together using sometimes quite complex arrangements and weaving words into the song like a poem. Even now, when the Co-op decided to appropriate Dylans’s “Blowin’ in the wind” for its ad about global warming, it still resonates down the years in a way that, at least for me, made me stop and listen (and thrill) to the music.

And so we come to this track (which has been gently playing in the background whilst you read my words so far) and it immediately takes me to a place where songwriters cared about what they wrote and the music that goes with it. Jeremy Woods (a great songwriter in my mind) allows the song to breathe and grow and linger. No quick hits, three chord hooks, one good burp and it’s all gone approach from Jeremy – oh no. This is a three course dinner of a track, not a McDonalds. You have to allow it to digest slowly, maybe take a break and come back to it. And like a good meal (or a fine cup of coffee) the memory of it lingers long after you have finished. So go on, make yourself (or go and buy) a nice long latte, cook yourself an exquisite three course meal, relax and play this in the background.

It will be so much more satisfying than 95% of the stuff you’re likely to hear on the radio today.

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