4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
everybody should love this album,
This review is from: Everybody Loves a Winner (Audio CD)
Another week and I discover another American miserablist songwriter. Unlike some others of his kind however Jeff Klein deserves your immediate attention. This is a top-notch effort,dominated by Klein's rasp of a voice and a seriously depressed world-view.
Most of the songs are slow/medium tempo and several have very sparse musical accompaniment. The only uptempo number, 'Another Breakdown',still cannot be called 'upbeat'- Klein wishes that "they'd come and put me away".His voice is at its most Tom Waits-ish on this track.The opener,'Everything Is Alright' sets the tone for the rest of the album - Klein sings about a partner who's "been writing out your suicide note since you were thirteen" while Patty Griffin's backing vocals are gorgeous.The beauty of the song however does not make me believe Klein when he tells me that "everything is alright".This uneasy feeling is confirmed in the next song,'California',with its crunching guitar chords and cymbal-heavy percussion.This is not a joyous ode to the West coast of the USA but a meditation on what the singer will do when he returns home to the woman he doesn't love as much as he did the night before.Brian Standefer's cello is introduced on this track and goes on to play a major role in the overall feel of melancholy prevalent on the album.
'I'm Sorry Sweet Emily' is a bright and breezy pop ditty which wouldn't be out of place at the top of the singles chart.Er,actually it isn't.It's Klein's apology to the titular woman because he knows he can't be faithful to her.J J Johnson plays a march on the snare drum as Klein marches to the tune played by his insistent libido(he "can't resist the swaying of their hips").Klein alludes again to his infidelity during the epic 'Steady Wins' - seven minutes of throbbing,headache-inducing bass drum and squalls of angry electric guitar which builds to an almost unlistenable climax.
I'll not give a track-by-track breakdown,mainly because I haven't the musical expertise to do it justice.This is an exceptional album characterised by moments of startling beauty and rasping anger.