You know those career-defining albums? "Dark Side Of The Moon", "Sergeant Pepper", "Good Vibrations"…..the list is long and almost always subjective. What isn't subjective in this instance is that "Stargazer" is Jesse Terry's "Sticky Fingers", his "Tubular Bells" and most definitely his "Out Of The Blue"!
Yes, the spectre of Brummie pop genius Jeff Lynne looms large over New England based songwriter Terry's 4th album, and is a welcome influence on a collection of songs that will inevitably be seen in time as 'the one' that propelled Jesse Terry into the 'big league'.
There is a vast, sprawling musical landscape that is encompassed by his writing, and it's a landscape that is breathtaking in its vision and execution. There aren't half measures here, every song is an opus, and although Jesse will take you from the pop perfection of "Woken The Wildflowers" to the skiffle-billy sensibility of "Dance In Our Old Shoes" in the beat of a musical heart, each song is inextricably linked by a latent quality that is plain for all to hear.
It's clear from the opening soaring orchestration of title track "Stargazer" that this album is the piece of work that he's been building patiently towards thus far in his career. Channeling the Lynne / Orbison axis, the warm production and easy sway of the lush instrumentation sets the bar high right from the get-go, and to his eternal credit the great songs just keep-on-coming back to back!
"Dangerous Times" takes a bleak, yet ultimately hopeful lyrical theme but cleverly allies that to a beautifully melodious and naggingly insistent chorus alongside chiming guitar licks. "Runaway Town" mirrors this rich vein of songwriting form, the big sound created by Terry and his producer Josh Kaler reinforcing the value that they've placed on quality but without ever losing the space that all great songs need to breathe.
"Stargazer" is an album that Jesse Terry was destined to make. His turbulent adolescence and life experiences thus far have bought him to this point, here the songs finally take on the mantle of a real life. A life that has been lived, experienced and that has been creatively coalescing to reach the here and now.
This is an album to be treasured, and is an enlightening reminder of times gone by, when albums were chock full of sparkling, inspirational songs that would just stay in your head for days on end. "Stargazer" is a triumph from start to finish, and Jesse Terry can be rightfully proud of an album that should, if there is any justice, be sitting in any "Top 10 Album Of 2017" lists that you care to mention.
|John Hackett Band: We Are Not Alone||Howie Payne: Mountain|
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