JERRY BURNS-JERRY BURNS.
JERRY BURNS-JERRY BURNS.
The album that I am about review has a sumptuous, atmospheric and dreamlike sound. It is a laid back, musical soundscape that transports you on a journey that will soothe your weary soul. The album is by Jerry Burns and is called Jerry Burns. It was released back in 1992, and this is an album I have returned to time and time, again, and never tire of hearing. So who is Jerry Burns? Jerry Burns is a Scottish singer songwriter, and back in 1992 when this album first came out, the critics forecast a wonderful future for her. However, like many talented artists, Jerry Burns has found commercial success has alluded her. That, to me, is a tragedy, as Jerry Burns has a wonderful voice, and is a talented songwriter. However, what makes this album special? If you read on, I will tell you why this album is so good, and why you should go out and buy a copy.
There are ten songs on this album, and the first track is Pale Red. This is a fantastic way to start the album. Pale Red is a slow track that starts with Burns accompanied by a piano. As you listen to the song you discover a song with a strong narrative and a clever use of similes. The song describes two lovers returning to somewhere they once lived, only to find it being pulled down, and she sings about it being too late to go back. Burns also sings about what she likes about her lover. However, by the end of the song she says that she should not be with him. The pulling down of the building could be a simile for her thinking about breaking up her relationship. This song is a good start to the album.
Casually Unkind is the second song on the album. The song starts with piano and drums, and then Burns goes on to produce a great vocal performance. The lyrics to this song are about someone who is considering starting a relationship, but only will do so, on their own terms, for fear of being hurt. This is a great song, sung well, with the Burns and her band complimenting each other.
Hardly Me is an slow, atmospheric song, with lovely lyrics. In this song, the lyrics paint a picture, a picture of two lovers walking through a city, passing what Burns calls the “rich and disenchanted, dressed up in down-time”. In this song, as with the two previous songs, Burns has the ability to write songs that tell a story. The songs all have a strong narrative, and if you close your eyes you will almost be able to picture the scene that Burns is describing in her lyrics.
The next track Fall For Lovers, is a song about what happens when one falls in love after a previous relationship has goes wrong. In the song her advice is not to look back, and that time will take away the pain. Having fallen in love she realizes how much she needed “to dance again”. This is another clever use of similes, where “to dance again” is a simile for falling in love again. This is a strong song, with intelligent lyrics.
Sometimes I’m Wild carries on with the same tempo as the previous songs. This song primarily features just Burns and the piano. Other instruments gently accompany, but never overpower the vocal. Burns sings the song with feeling, and their is a spaciousness in her delivery. The track is a great showcase for Burns’ voice and is has a lovely atmospheric feel to it.
The next track Crossing Over is quite different from the previous track, the tempo is slightly quicker, and the sound is much fuller. There is more going on in the track than previous ones. The track has more instruments on it, and it feels like that this smothers Burns’ vocal. This, to me, has a negative impact on the track. I found that because of the variety of instruments, and in particular the drum sound, I was distracted from the lyrics and vocals. This is the weakest track on the album, purely because the track would have benefited from a much more pared down sound. This is a shame as the song’s lyrics are good.
On Simple Heart we have a return to form. The sound is much more spartan. Burns’ vocal has space to breath, and her voice produces a much fuller sound, there is a strength to her vocal that was lacking in Crossing Over. This is a track where less is more. Overall, this is a good song, with good lyrics, that are sung well.
There is a change in style on the next track Completely My Dear. Jerry Burns sings the song softly, in fact she almost whispers some of the lyrics at the start of the song. This increases the impact of a beautiful song, as does the way she her phrases the lyrics. In my opinion, this types of song suits Burns’ vocal style. However, she has a versatile voice and can adapt to different styles. This is the case with next song Safe In the Rain. On this song she sings the lyrics using a louder and clearer voice. This song demonstrates the versatility of Jerry Burns vocal range. The song has a slightly faster tempo than some tracks on the album and feature some gorgeous lyrics. This is another love song sung by Burns, and when you listen carefully to the lyrics you will be struck by how well she can tell a story within a song. There is an intelligence to Jerry Burns’ songs that sadly, nowadays, is lacking in many singer songwriters work.
The final song on this album is Stepping Out Slowly. This is another slow song. Burns sings the song softly, and at the start is just backed by a piano. This accompaniment has the effect of increasing the impact of a beautiful song. The song is about someone taking their time becoming involved with a new lover. They do not want to rush headlong into a relationship and are suspicious of their new lover, because they believe that they may not be the faithful kind. This is a really lovely song, is a great way to finish the album.
Jerry Burns debut album Jerry Burns is a great album which features some great tracks. Out of the ten songs on this album, nine of these songs are pure quality. Buns is a great vocalist and and a very talented songwriter. This is an album that should have done much better when it was released in 1992. However, Jerry Burns is not the first, and sadly, won’t be the last talented artist not to achieve the success their talent deserves. Today, Jerry Burns is still a singer-songwriter, sadly, she does not have the profile her talent deserves. Should you have read this review, and think that you would like to hear this album, I would recommend that you try and find a copy of this album. Once you have heard this album, you will be glad to have discovered Jerry Burns, but saddened that you did not discover her many years ago. Standout Tracks: Pale Red, Casually Unkind and Stepping Out Slowly.
JERRY BURNS-JERRY BURNS.