... AND THEN SOME
This CD is an interesting coming together of two musical worlds. On one hand you have Canadian singer Luke Jackson, who not only performs the material, but wrote all the songs here.
And, then there is the Scandinavian influence, since the CD was recorded and produced in Sweden. The back up players bring with them the influences of Scandinavian pop, and at times you do almost hear the ghost of Abba, especially on a song like Goodbye London. Now I will admit Abba would be near the top of a list of my least favourite bands of all time, but fortunately the influence is kept in check here, and doesn't take away from the overall recording.
Instead, the real strength of the music here is the October 2nd Strings, which are featured throughout. The group brings five violins, a viola and two cellos to the table, and it is that rich string section which really makes this album.
Of course a lot of the credit should go to Robert Kirby who did the string orchestration. He takes this album beyond being just another pop recording, but adding that additional richness to the music.
Still, this is a pop CD, albeit quite a good one.
Jackson writes solid lyrics, and delivers them smoothly against a backdrop of the lush string work. The combination is amazing at times, in particular on the cut The Fear, which is the best of the 10 offered here.
Overall this CD is rather compelling as it draws from rather distinct musical backgrounds, adds the richness of strings, and the solid writing of Jackson.
One well worth checking out at www.myspace.com/luke_jackson
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Jan.7, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada