Jinder “9 Cents from Benelux” (Din of Ecstasy, 2009)
Shopping in the common market
The songwriter’s songwriter is rather like the player’s player, someone competent, a hard worker, shows consistency, no flashes of genius, just a good performance from game to game, song to song, someone who is no threat.
So Jinder comes bearing gifts from Brian Wilson, Ryan Adams (a man serially incapable of judging his own work) and the bloke from mope-rockers Keane. Of his cheerleaders it is Adams that he is closest to, his mixture of folk, country and rock approximates Adams, his voice too can sound similar in phrasing, ‘Hazel County’ finds him somewhere in Whiskeytown looking for a bar before moving to LA to polish the song up and add a great big pop chorus.
He shows some due deference to ‘Towne’s Blues’ and rolls out his most inspired song full of keening pedal steel like glinting silver illuminated by lightning, it glides over the unfurling acoustic guitar and the melancholy timbre of the vocals. He follows it with a lighter tale of ‘Aimee’ which is just the kind of thing that Keane might come up with if they ever considered a career as musicians, it’s a simple and effective song built around the repetition of girls name, the use of the banjo for the middle eight adds to the impact. There are mis-steps though that undermine the good work, ‘In My Time if Dying’ is a wasted attempt at twisted country blues and there’s an unnecessary copy of Don McClean’s ‘Vincent’.
I can understand the appeal of these songs, they don’t demand much from the listener, and they are well constructed and easy to listen to. There are even a couple of examples where he rises above the competent, overall though it is more Didier Deschamps than Zinedine Zidane.
Date review added: Thursday, July 23, 2009
Reviewer: David Cowling
Related web link: Have your 10 cents