Jacks, Scott - You Know Me By Now

Year of Release: 2003
Label: First Aid Records
Catalog Number: FASJ50
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:10:00

It's time to admit your age. See if you remember this one - it was a tearjerker of a pop song from the early '70s that every teenage girl played until the needles on their turntables were worn flat: "We had joy we had fun / We had seasons in the sun / But the hills that we climbed / Were just seasons out of time?" If you know this one you've been around for more years than you'll probably admit. My wife had that record, and a quick scratch through our dwindling vinyl collection yielded an old, barely playable copy. Even though we no longer have a turntable, she has never been able to part with it.

That song made Canadian Terry Jacks famous, and this album is by is Scott Jacks, Terry's younger brother by some 14 years. Besides that relationship and the fact that Scott plays with some artists now being produced by Terry, You Know Me By Now has nothing in common with that pop song. So enough with the comparisons - this review is about Scott Jacks, who has crafted a progressive rock album that is worth your consideration.

Scott is a long-time fan of progressive rock, with influences dating back to Camel, King Crimson and Gentle Giant. He wrote the songs and played almost all of the instruments on You Know Me By Now, a song oriented melodic-prog piece with 13 tracks spread over 50 minutes. A few are instrumentals, and may represent some of the stronger points on the album. The acoustic guitar work is the signature sound on this CD. It isn't overly complex and brings a pleasant, melodic tone to the music. Jacks is a very capable multi-instrumentalist and some of the arrangements have an interesting classical orientation. But others, like "This Tired Old Face," have a pop sound to them and probably have good commercial potential.

At first listen it was easy to dismiss this as a so-so neo-prog effort, but it only took only one more listen to gain a deeper appreciation of Scott's musicianship. There are several nods to pop here, as well as some jazzy influences such as the fusion noodling on "9 In Essense." And except for the closing track, the music is mellow and predominantly acoustic. While Scott's vocals are not the most consistent component of the music, they are delivered with a pleasingly soft tone reminiscent of Alan Parsons. The lyrics are fairly straightforward but address a diverse mix of thought provoking subjects. Each song is well textured and that acoustic guitar is well complimented by pleasing keyboards and a simple bass line that is sensibly held far back in the mix - just enough to give it a solid foundation. And listen for Scott's newest musical skill, the sitar.

You just got home from work, you're weary and need to unwind. Pour yourself a single malt, put You Know Me By Now in the stereo, throw back the recliner, and hit play. You will relax - it's that kind of music.

Providence (03:14) / Filmstar (07:02) / Where Do You Think You're Headed Billy? (04:19) / Wintertime Blues (03:13) / You Know Me By Now (04:26) / No One Knows There Names (03:14) / To Michael Hedges (03:41) / 9 In Essense (05:05) / Innocent Love (02:43) / This Tired Old Face (03:12) / Neilishon 4 (03:20) / The China Dream (03:07) / Sure Shot Motors (03:28)

Scott Jacks - voices, lyrics, & instruments
Holly Burke - flute
Sacha Fassaert - guitar (and others)

First Aid - Stumbling Boldly Forward (1991)
Scott Jacks (1995)
First Aid - Coelacanth Ale (2000)
You Know Me By Now (2003)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: March 22nd 2004
Reviewer: Duncan N Glenday
Artist website: www.scottjacks.com
Hits: 1134
Language: english


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