Review Summary: Bob Evan's, I mean Kevin Mitchell's, solo album is far from a softer version of any Jebediah album. Don't worry, thats not necessarily a bad thing.
I came across the name Bob Evans when doing some research on the great Australian band Jebediah. At first I was skeptical, "Who is this Bob Evans character and what is he doing on the Jebediah website?" After some quick reading I came to realise that Bob Evans was in fact the frontman of Jebediah, Kevin Mitchell, which promptly caused me to find the cd Suburban Songbook as soon as possible.
When I put the cd on for a listen the first time I was a little surprised; not quite dissapointed but not jumping for joy either. Instead of the generally upbeat and rushing songs that I've come to associate with Jebediah I found myself confronted with a much more intimate and subtle album full of acoustic ballads. A few listens later and I was hooked. The song writing, blending of a variety of instruments and diversity in arrangements and styles has the ability to pull one into the music.
Lyrically I find that, whilst they may not be the greatest ever written, the phrases offered by Kevin tend to flow well with the music. They never become a negative influence on the overall feel of a song as his unique sounding voice carries the lines beautifully in time with the supurb compositions.
Which brings me to the highlight of the album which is the aforemention composition of diverse instruments. In the musings of Suburn Songbook you will hear the usual guitar, bass and drums however occansionally a piano, mandolin, flute or, as heard in the track "Don't Walk Alone", seemingly a full 'big band' will make an appearance. Songs such as the chilling "Flame" or the upbeat single "Nowhere Without You" really showcase the talent of this veterean performer.
I think one of the reasons that this album scores as high as it does is because Kevin Mitchell doesn't fall into the trap of personal indulgence as some artists do when they decide to try solo efforts. Instead he manages to keep each song contained with perhaps the only complaint being that some of the songs finish a little too soon.
This is definitely one album that you should have a look at if you enjoyed Bernard Fannings solo debut.
- Nowhere Without You
- Don't Walk Alone
- The Great Unknown
(By the way this is my first review)