Review Summary: A delightfully catchy folk album that will handsomely reward Jeremy Fisher’s small (but growing) fan base.
Unbeknownst to the general music listening population, folk singer/songwriter Jeremy Fisher has actually developed something of a cult following over the course of his first three albums. Hailing from Montreal, Canada, Fisher has become renowned on a small-scale for his primarily acoustic sound, complex arrangements, and the occasional inclusion of a harmonica. His first album to gain any significant attention was Let It Shine
, his sophomore effort and first album to be released on a major label. The single “High School” received moderate airplay, but it did very little to launch him into the spotlight. 2007’s Goodbye Blue Monday
achieved very similar results, and saw Fisher expand his sonic palette and experiment with more complicated song structures. All in all, Fisher has had a relatively successful, if largely unknown, career in indie music. That brings us to his most recent effort, Flood
, which proves to be his most accomplished record to date and quite possibly the best album of 2010 that you haven’t heard.
If there is one simple way to describe Flood
, it would be a combination of endearing folk-style vocals and ridiculously catchy tunes. In fact, every single track on Flood
sounds like the most important song on the album, and that alone makes it unforgettable. There is a mainstream, almost poppy
flair present throughout the record that may turn some people off, but it is this same quality that makes Flood
so engaging – from the acoustic driven verses to the exploding choruses, there is always something for the listener to delve his/her ears into. At the same time, Flood
has such a distinctly earthy sound that it makes swaying along to every massive hook and shouting out the words to every chorus feel guiltless. The lyrics are refreshingly genuine and down to earth, as Fisher illustrates quite well in “Naked Girl”, where he gleefully exclaims, “Everybody wants to see a naked girl…fly up to the moon to understand the world, oh the things that we will do to see a naked girl
.” There is also a clear classic rock/oldies influence in a number of the songs. “Nothing to Lose” sees Fisher integrate his piano skills in what could be described as a Beatles-influenced ballad, while the elongated, overly-annunciated verses of “Alison” are reminiscent of Bob Dylan’s past works. As a whole, Flood
is an inclusive representation of all of Fisher’s most important influences – and he displays them in a skilled, unique manner throughout all eleven songs on the album.
is the kind of album that carries a significant emotional air; but it is one of genre-uncharacteristic optimism. Typically with music that is heavily acoustic, you get a lot of the same themes – unrequited love, alcohol, drugs, depression – because they match the simplistic, stripped-down, “empty” atmosphere of the instruments. That is not always the case, of course…but typically, acoustic/indie-folk works best with a songwriter who will wear his heart on his sleeve while reflecting on the tragedies of the aforementioned topics. Compared to those artists, Fisher provides refreshing contrast. Flood
is by no means happy-go-lucky or sickeningly sweet, it just chooses to contemplate the simple things in life – such as the joys that come with seeing a naked girl, or the feeling accompanied by a rainy summer day. It’s not boring, it’s not sugar-coated, and it certainly isn’t shallow; Flood
is just a nice change of pace that is quite simply…simple
. The nature of the folk/indie genre suggests that this album probably won’t enter the national spotlight, but that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t enter your CD player. Flood
is a thoroughly enjoyable masterpiece from Fisher that is well deserving of at least your