- In seven years, Jackson Brown’s first new album is named after oceanographer Captain Charles Moore’s statement that “the oceans are up.”
- Given that Brown has been writing songs about the dangers of collapsing ecosystems since the early 1970s.
It’s no surprise that he now collects ecological causes as climate sirens go by. The theme song is a passionate call to stop dumping plastic into our oceans. It features Brown’s first use of the word “Anthropocene” (impressive even for this extraordinarily long-winded songwriter).
Nearly half a century has passed since Brown’s excellent debut, but he still sounds fresh, still very curious about the world around him. When he pressed it on the restless opening track, he said, “Still looking for something.” This search took him all over the world, from Haiti – the great “Love is Love” from last year’s album “Let the Rhythm Lead” – to Barcelona, a city which he featured in the previous song “Restoring my fire” admits. And it gave me my appetite again.
Downhill from Everywhere provides ample evidence of that flaming spark and conveys the absolute joy of hearing an accomplished copywriter with the wind on the sails. KEEP
Leon Bridge – Gold Digger Sound
Some albums sound like a place to feel. Since its 2015 debut, Coming Home, Bridges has shown the ability to do just that. Historically, his voice – reminiscent of Soul King Sam Cook – is reminiscent of the south of the sixties, where Bridges was born and raised. However, in his third album, the location is more specific. Gold-Diggers Sound received after its namesake.
The studio/hotel/bar on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles, where Bridges steamed for 24 months to record this latest edition. There, the four-time Grammy nominee would polish his final tequila at 10 a.m. before getting up for work at 10 p.m. because, as he puts it, “it’s hard to get in the sexy mood at 11 a.m.”. As a result, his nocturnal creative process runs through the entire album, best heard with a cold drink in hand and dim lights.
This album starts with a mood. Satisfying keyboard keys feature “Born Again,” a soft jazz number that overlays Bridges’ unmistakable voice over a complementary horn arrangement. But while there are well-known jazz notes and some well-known guitar tracks, Gold-Diggers is a clear R&B record. In a whirlwind of alternative genre albums, Bridges usually stays up to date. “Don’t worry” is the focus. Then, in a nearly seven-minute collaboration with singer Mastilo, the two singers swap stanzas for a dying romance that shines in their mourning theme and never sinks into darkness.
Bridges remain lyrically recognizable. The singer deprives himself of both seduction from love (“I found peace in your valley of truth”) and deprivation of love (“I feel that the distance has gone by miles / but the cold is all you”).
On Sweeter – initially released in 2020 after the murder of George Floyd and featuring Los Angeles hip hop and jazz artist Terrace Martin – Bridges takes his introspective take on police brutality and racial oppression. “Wishing for a sweeter life / I’ll just repeat one story,” she sings. The song is deep, thick, and slow, like flowing in a stream.