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Friday, October 7, 2011

Josh Lewis – ‘Jumpin’ In’ album review

Josh Lewis – ‘Jumpin’ In’ album review
Released through: Ten 42 Records Released date: Available now

Josh Lewis is a name that chances are, most people won’t know or be familiar with, but he was actually one of the original guitar players in the band Warrant. Since then he’s had a pretty much low key musical career, to tell the truth.

He gained media attention last year through VH1’s ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp,’ in one of the three finalist bands.
From what I can gather this album 'Jumpin' In' is that it was actually released last year, but has received a fresh re-launch, after the end of this last series of 'Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy Camp' as some folks may have noticed by the TV commercials in the show breaks.

The album features Josh Lewis on guitars, lead and backing vocals and keyboards, drums from Max Mazursky and on bass is David Jenkins.
My understanding is also – I received a digital copy of the album with not too many details … - that Josh Lewis produced the album and that it was mixed by Brian Kehew (The Who, Dave Davies – Kinks, Hole), which part of me questions, but what do I know?

Josh Lewis certainly has a voice that stands out to you, with hints of – To me - Marc Bolan , Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, John Lennon and even slightly Peter Frampton to a degree.
I had a notion that the album might want to sound quite rocky, but I really don’t hear that here too much. It does have variety about it though.

Not really sure how anyone can pigeonhole Josh with his musical direction. He’s really mixed this album up in terms of any kind of direction or what kind of audience he’s hoping to grab?

There’s certainly an element of Americana about his sound, with some of that borderline folksy sound that both Bob Dylan and Tom Petty have dabbled with and then there’s moments that are a little old school Aerosmith and even perhaps a hint of Led Zeppelin too, to a certain degree.

It seems my copy of the album has a different running order than the album that seems to be available out there, but with promo’s you just never can tell!

Opening track on my version is ‘Been Knocked Down,’ is a track right out of the John Mellencamp sounding Americana songbook if you ask me, when you hear it you’ll know just what I mean. The mix is kind of odd too and I don’t know if this was intentional or not, but the drums, seem to have been mic’d up a little off, unless like I say this was intentional, but when drummer Max Mazursky plays around to the floor tom, it’s louder than the rest of the drums?

‘Don’t Let Your Lovin’ Go Bad’ is next and it’s an acoustic ballad number that reminds me a lot of say Tom Petty, laid back stuff.

With next track ‘Fade’ it’s more of a poppy kind of number, with plenty of guitar effects and a couple of spots with a great little bass run. Interesting number.

OK, change of sound again for ‘Her Own Lagoon,’ kind of rockabilly meets The Beatles with a hippy attitude, then there’s an element that reminds me of Aerosmith a little. It’s certainly something different.

‘Lay Down Your Guns’ is another more laid back style number, ballad like in an almost Bob Dylan style. Not really my bag at all.

The track ‘Many Times Been Up,’ is certainly more up tempo and has a mind try and rock a little like Aerosmith with his distinct vocal, that as I say is pretty unique but certainly nods towards the aforementioned artists.

‘She Taught Me To Love’ is up next and here come the acoustics again and it’s a pretty good ballad although the ‘yeah, yeah, yeah,’ bit in the middle .., didn’t sound quite right but the track is not too bad overall.
Vocally it’s that almost Dylan like sound.

There’s a kind of Beatles sound to ‘Startin’ All Over Again,’ with a rocked up edge to it. I actually really like this one, nice guitar part too.

‘What Parts About Love (Don’t you Understand)’ is perhaps a slower more pop oriented track, with again perhaps a nod to Aerosmith and that's the end of the album.

In summary, it’s kind of lacking something about it, direction? With the production, it’s a pretty raw, basic sound and maybe that’s because Josh wanted that rootsy vibe to the album, not sure on that.
Credit where credit due though, Josh did a lot for himself here, so pat on the back to the guy for that.
It will be interesting to see what he does next.

Rating: 2.75 out of 5

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