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Waiting In Vain [CD]

James Jackson Toth, Michael James Jackson Audio CD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product details

  • Audio CD (23 Jun 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: ADA Global
  • ASIN: B00180OSB8
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 236,115 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Nothing Hides
2. Doreen
3. The Banquet Styx
4. Look In On Me
5. Becoming Faust
6. Poison Oak
7. Midnight Watchman
8. Beulah The Good
9. The Park
10. Do What You Can
11. My Paint
12. The Dome

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
Previously leader of the New York-based experimental jazz-folk collective Wooden Wand & the Vanishing Voice, James Jackson Toth's solo debut is a lush take on alt-country informed by blues, soul and, occasionally, punk. Whereas Wooden Hand ... was very much an avant-garde concern, `Waiting In Vain` is comparatively conventional, meandering improv conspicuous only in its absence. No twenty minute excursions into free jazz territory here but dreamy, harmonious pop bedecked with gorgeous semi-acoustic guitar and piano. For the most part `Waiting In Vain' creates a somnambulant drift at odds with Toth's gritty lyrics about the kind of seedy, low-life characters that inhabit the corners of bars in Charles Bukowski novels. Like Lambchop's `Nixon`, minus the orchestral embellishments, Toth turns his blue-collar tales of ordinary madness into breezy, soul-tinged country. In the wistful, sometimes romantic mood I also hear similarities to Richard Hawley's retro dream pop, but the textural sweetness belies Toth's more transgressive lyrics.

The first two tracks offer the kind of countrified pop that recalls a more vocally robust, less whispery version of Calexico and Iron & Wine's fine collaborative EP `In the Reins`. Unhurried and economical, I am also reminded of Beach House and English slowcore merchants Tram, but with that yearning Memphis twang so rooted in the American South. Opener `Nothing Hides' chugs along on a persistent, scrabbly rhythm, sweetened with a beautifully played hollow-body electric. `Doreen', arguably the album's most immediate track, hints at the reverb-heavy rockabilly of Roy Orbison or his latter-day disciple Chris Isaak.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars about time something of substance 30 July 2008
By eyeontheball - Published on
Format:Audio CD
A record you can listen to to suit your own style and or mood; even changing for myself day to day. Has anyone ever used the word "customizable" to describe a cd. I hear a lot of the early solo efforts of John Lennon in this great record. The lyrics are personal, intellegent and approachable. The music is light and heavy at the same time. The feel is distinct and vague at the same time. It has Lennon's precise cynical flavor, and also like Lennon it is almost done tongue in cheek. I don't want to use the overused phrase refreshing here, but someone has taken my thesauraus. But "Waiting In Vain is truly refreshing.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars James Jackson Toth - Waiting in Vain 5 Sep 2008
By S. D. Mason - Published on
Format:Audio CD
Waiting in Vain (2008, Rykodisc) James Jackson Toth's first studio album. ***

As with so many other albums, it would have been so much better had some of the excess been cut off. It starts off wonderfully, with the easy-listening of "Nothing Hides" and "Doreen," moving straight into the album's pinnacle, the slow and comforting "Look in on Me." Surely the accents he adds occassionally are unwarranted, but Toth's wide array of veritable influences (Mick Jagger, what?!) are interesting to listen to. But the sheer length of the album mixed with some lazy production pull Waiting in Vain down from the heighth it should have achieved.
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