Paul Simon + Tom Petty + Joshua Radin = Jeremy Fisher
amerdale876 | MD | 09/11/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Jeremy Fisher (real name: Jeremy Binns) is yet another Canadian who has crossed the border onto the music scene here in the U.S. with quite an impressive debut album, his sophomore effort, "Goodbye Blue Monday." Although Fisher self-released an album in 2001 and followed it with his major label debut in 2004, this is the album that will win Fisher an American audience. He sounds like a mix of Paul Simon, a young Tom Petty, Joshua Radin, and a little of Adam Schlesinger (of Fountains of Wayne) all in one.
His best Paul Simon voice immediately comes forth in the opening track "Scar That Never Heals," a bouncy track about the singer's obsessive love with a female gunrunner, singing that his love is exactly what the title implies. This analogy tells the listener right away what to expect of the singer's somewhat bittersweet views on love and it fills the album. The second song, "Jolene," continues this theme about a woman with whom he was madly in love with but the relationship ended. Fisher's most recent single out now is "Cigarette" and, like most singles, it isn't the best song on the album, but features a heavy Tom Petty-like vocal as the singer sings from the perspective of a cigarette to its latest victim about the guilty pleasure and satisfaction that comes from its use.
Speaking of Petty, the listener would think that the fourth track, "American Girls," was maybe some sequel or remake of the Petty classic. However, this song is the complete antithesis to Petty's "American Girl." Fisher's "American Girls." Whereas Petty's "Girl" tells of a girl who yearns to accomplish her dreams and is seen in the song as the heroine, Fisher's "Girls" is about a group of girls who take pleasure in taking advantage of the singer and do nothing but use him for their own purposes. Featuring some brief harmonica, one might say that Fisher's "Girls" is the newer generation's version of Petty's "Girl." In Petty's song, the girl is being tormented by her inability to get this guy who "crept back in her memory"; but Fisher's "Girls" could see that same scorned girl going on to turn the tables with "American girls with American dreams" walking all over the guy singer. A great song and one of the best on the album! The following song is the title track "Goodbye Blue Monday," and it's one of the few slow tempo songs on the album. I'm not too impressed with this song - it's probably my second least favorite on the album. "Lay Down (Ballad of Rigoberto Alpizar)" is much better. This song is about the true story of the shooting of innocent Alpizar, who was shot dead by two U.S. federal air marshals because they believed he had a bomb on board a passenger airplane; after an extensive search of the plane, Alpizar's belongings, and the entire luggage from the plane, it was discovered that there was no bomb. The song is sung from the perspective of the air marshal who killed him. The song takes a look into what extremes paranoid lawmen will take in a post-9/11 world.
Fisher returns to lighter subject matter in his next song, "High School." This song could be any theme of returning to see classmates after such a long time. Whether going to a high school reunion or running into a former classmate in a bar/theater/etc., this song has a running pop rock rift that helps you relate to the lyrics even more. But it's not as catchy as the Simon and Garfunkel-like "Sula" with its "ooooohs" and synchronizing vocals about a lost love and the dreadful feeling that maybe everything there is to see, do, write, and experience has already been done. This is a nice, jaunty song to sing along to before the slow-dragging "16 mm Dream" - a song referencing to the pain invoked when looking through old photos of old lovers.
Song ten, "Left Behind," ties with "American Girls" as the best track on this album. It's a song of drunken, lovelorn poetry set to a sweet acoustic guitar and xylophone with the singer gently dragging out, "You never saw yourself as an artist/I never saw a portrait like your smile/We never saw each other first time we looked/But good things take a while." It's such a simple, sweet unrequited love song that it pulls enough at the heartstrings for it to be so damn likeable. Finally, closing the album is "Fall for Anything," my least favorite song on the album. This is the only song that just boringly drags with lyrics that - although try to come off deep and meaningful - come off so pointless with a clichéd, annoying ending chorus.
Out of the eleven songs on "Goodbye Blue Monday," only two didn't impress me much. The other nine are outstanding pop songs set to catchy riffs with a familiar voice (one of pop/folk Americana) that will either comfort listeners into wanting to listen to this album over and over again (like me), or just annoy listeners to eject this disc and pop in any of the singers listed above. Either way, Fisher has a great voice and is truly welcomed today in a society that has too many pop punk and rock sound-alikes. From my description, this album may sound like a moody, unrequited love soundtrack (which it is), full of miserable, sappy music. Thankfully, though, the latter part is anything but; the album is full of head-bobbing, almost-danceworthy music. And as I stated in my music review for A Fine Frenzy, even though the singer may sound like a previous popular, good singer/band, it still doesn't guarantee that his/her music will be enjoyable. Trust me, if you can find this album reasonably priced and like any of the singers listed in the first paragraph, you should definitely give "Goodbye Blue Monday" a try!"
Another XPN Find
W. C. | 11/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was riding home the other night listening to XPN out of Philly and this tune comes on with a great hook, some harmonica and some catchy lyrics. So I log in the next day and go to the playlist time to see who it was. Turns out it was Jeremy Fisher and the tune was "High School". Next thing I know I'm on his website listening to other samples and I'm hooked. I just picked up the disc at Borders last night and I'm glad it's not just a one tune disc or artist. If you like Josh Rouse, early Simon and Garfunkle or anyone else that's been mentioned in the other reviews I'm sure you'll like Jeremy as well. Other tunes from the disc that stand out are "Cigarette", "American Girls", "Lay Down" and "Sula". His biography and website is nice as well to learn more about him. Thanks XPN!"
Great new music
J. Hardwick | Seattle, WA USA | 05/14/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jeremy Fisher is great. You should buy this disc, and then go out and get a new pair of shoes."