Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Presents Author Unknown
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
Jason Falkner established his pop credentials as guitarist with the briefly fashionable San Francisco-based Jellyfish. He brings a similar musical sensibility to Author Unknown, balancing 1980s American new wave and 1960s ... more »
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Jason Falkner established his pop credentials as guitarist with the briefly fashionable San Francisco-based Jellyfish. He brings a similar musical sensibility to Author Unknown, balancing 1980s American new wave and 1960s British pop while dispensing with the spangled flares and silly hats his former group favored. Such modesty is his solo debut's greatest strength and weakness. Falkner is a capable singer and a proficient songsmith, and the better moments here, such as "I Go Astray" and "She Goes to Bed," evoke fond recollections of the first Smithereens album. Unfortunately, too much of the rest of the record errs on the side of earnestness. A little of the gaudy exuberance of Jellyfish's "The King Is Half Undressed," for example, would have been welcome. --Andrew Mueller
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Pop/Rock/Songwriting at it's finest in the 90's
Mark A. Carter | New York | 09/09/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I got this album a few years ago and it's probably the single most played CD I have had in the past 10 years. My I-River MP3 player has given me many hours of pleasure with this CD. So first of all let's get this straight, all the instruments, voices, noises & Lyrics (as per CD's booklet) are by Jason Falkner himself which is almost hard to believe. I would be happy to pay good money to see a band that played as well as this. Above and beyond the musicianship on display here are the wonderful lyrics present on each and every song. Fabulous Pop/Rock riffs with hooks a plenty. To my ears it's a perfect mix of American/British Pop influence's both old and new. I can hear ("XTC" - Check `Don't show me heaven', "Beatles" - Check `She Goes to Bed' with it's background orchestration "Blur" - Check `I Go Astray' as well as people like "Cheap Trick", "Beachboys", "Kinks" & even "Robyn Hitchcock" on other tracks. As many influences as this guy may have he has certainly made this Album uniquely his own through his humorous & often thought provoking lyrics and natural pop-sensibilities. Thankfully his voice is a perfect accompaniment to the songs on the album. There is a good mix of styles on display here from fast pop-induced songs which share space with slow introspective songs without either seeming out of place. Everything compliments the album as a whole and this is to date probably his best effort I feel. Released 1996 it still sounds very current, especially amongst the British Indie Scene. If you're looking for great songwriting, catchy pop riffs & a range of styles then please pick up this CD, you won't regret it. Just ignore the lame Cover."
"Nobody Knows" how good this is.
H3@+h | VT | 07/20/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Like many people, I heard of "Jason Falkner" after many years of listening to "Jellyfish". Though this album isn't the caliber of those from his former band, it is similar, and still very good. It's smart alt-pop, well constructed and easy to like. I tend to enjoy the first half of this disc more than the other, but it's all good at the very least. There's also a 12th track on the album called "Untitled", which is actually one of my favorites, and a great ending to a great record. As with most albums, this too gets better with each playing."
Upending a negative first impression proves more important
A. MCINTYRE | Nashville, TN | 04/03/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You've all had it happen; you've disliked an artist or a CD and then given it another chance a little bit later and it blows your mind.
Being a former guitar snob (in college), I couldn't stand Jason's uncomfortable work on Jellyfish's "Bellybutton" and my 2nd impression of him was "Can You Still Feel" which never did reel me in despite giving it multiple chances (I think Falkner should always produce himself). This basically self-produced and singlehandedly-played debut album has a unique vibe that for some listeners may require more than one listen. For those who "get" Jason Falkner immediately, this record is a classic. For those like me who took some convincing, this album has grown from "I like a few songs" to "gosh, this is really good" to finally being the benchmark by which other self-made "pop" albums are judged. The opening track, "I Live" is indeed a classic and admirers of Jason's guitar work on this CD (besides myself) include the intimidating Dave Gregory of XTC. His lyrics, while rarely profound are pleasantly free of pretention and seem to give insight into Jason's candid nature. I'd rather hear a good writer speak plainly and Jason does just that. Jason's impressive bass work floods "Author Unknown" with an attention to detail rarely felt on most records nowadays and his drumming is neither simplistic nor flashy; they serve all of the songs perfectly.
Fans of The Zombies, Kinks and early solo Rundgren will find "Author Unknown" to be familiar ground without being derivative. For those who love "Author Unknown", I reccommend either of Jason's 4-track CDs (Necessity / Everyone says it's on) and the new "Bliss Descending" EP, as they all present a similar aesthetic. Fans of Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich should check the highly-lauded (except by me... for now) "Can You Still Feel" instead of these more home-grown-sounding efforts."