Friday, September 26, 2014

Jim Pembroke, If the Rain Comes

Jim Pembroke has the singer-songwriter vibe from an earlier era. He writes genuine songs with lyrics that reflect his life. He made the album If the Rain Comes (TUM 007) with his old friend Hennik Otto Donner, who produced it and wrote the string and horn arrangements. Then Otto passed away not long after. Jim and his band preside, and dedicate the album to Otto's memory.

There are eleven tunes of note. "When the Rain Comes", the title cut, starts out sounding much like the Beatles "Rain", then veers off in its own effective way. The rest of the tunes have their own special quality. Otto's arrangements are excellent, Jim sings in his own sort of style, singer-songwriter style. Jukka Orma plays some nice guitar here and there.

It's an album that has accessibility and just a touch of the hand-crafted weirdness of earlier times. It's not by rote. It at once sounds familiar in its periodicity, yet new.

The TUM label in Finland put it out and its production values are excellent. I find it engaging, tuneful but not cookie-cutter.

If you go for rock singing-songwriting of quality and nice arrangements of same, this may appeal. I like it myself.

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