I'm not sure if it's the current warm spell we're experiencing here in Doha (not seen a cloud for like 3 months), has made me chill out more, or if it's the sudden slow down of life here with most sane people leaving the country for cooler climates and well-earned holidays but I can't remember enjoying an album so much, can't remember playing an album so much for a very long time.
I reckon it's been a good year, so far, with numerous new releases, re-releases, old albums rediscovered, (Midlake, Betty Steels, Tindersticks , Colosseum to name but 4) - and then when you think that it's safe to surf myspace, amazon etc and you promise yourself that you want spend any more money on new music - then kerblaamm - you find this little gem of a record.
Jim Guthrie is a Canadian singer-songwriter (there must be something in their water the way they keep producing artists like this) and has recorded and toured both as a solo artist and as a member of the bands Islands, Royal City and Human Highway. These names probably won't mean too much to you but are worth checking out if only for the album cover of Human Highway's `Moodys Motorcycle'.
So why do I like the album so much? Good question, I'm not really sure - cant really pinpoint what makes it so good. I love the strings (arranged by Owen Pallett) that take the songs to another level. I love the lyrics, very strong, very simple but strong that paint pictures in your mind, subtle dreams that you can take anywhere.
The songs here are good, very good - I hear a craftsman at work, someone who knows how to tell a story in 5 minutes, someone who can convey his emotions, someone with something to say. The production is very good, the band is very good, the whole bloody thing is very good - but what makes it so special?
I think it's is the feel of the album - it all sounds just so right. There's space and light in each song, there's character and tone - a spirit that demands you sit down and listen. So, I'd better shut up and leave you to listen to the music.
on 22 March 2005
This is a cracking album by a relativley unknown Canadian singer songwriter Jim Guthrie.
I first heard one of his songs whilst living in Montreal as an exchange student. I happened to be recording some indie show on CKUT student radio (highly recommended streamed and archived radio station) which played something by him. I have been listening to this mix tape for five years now and I only finally got around to buying his music now!
There is not one duff song on Now More Than Ever, they are all foot tappingly tuneful with some really good guitar strumming, introspective and off-kilter lyrics alongside excellent arrangements with violins. The instrumental numbers which sounded like some hip TV show really stood out for me.
This is a quiet, even sedate piece of work but which you can listen to again and again because it's not one of those unbiqutous LPs where you either get sick of it after a dozen listens or you can't listen to regularly because it doesn't fit your mood. I felt this album for me was a mood setter because it puts you in a good one or sits nicely in the background where a cool riff comes bubbling out or an interesting lyric pops into your consciouness.
If you like cool, indie pop songs, with a nice North American twang and sensibilty then this is for you. If you're not sure, then get this and be converted.
on 11 August 2014
An incredible album, and one which I could recommend quite easily to everyone. There is an easygoing pop vibe throughout, with a lovely array of natural textures and strings throughout supporting Jim Guthrie's smooth, restrained voice. The overall arrangement, sound and instrumentation is utterly absorbing.
on 9 June 2010
I was turned on to Jim Guthrie by a friend of mine quite recently. This is such an immediate album. It is beautifully balanced, fantastic songwriting and arrangements (from owen Pallett of Arcade Fire, Last odf the Shadow Puppets, etc.)
The voice is great the lyrics are spot on. All in all a great record that you will come back to time and again.
This new release has additional tracks and versions. I particularly like the Kate Bush cover.