Jack may well have what it takes, only time will tell…
Chris Jones 2007
RADIO 2's ALBUM OF THE WEEK
''Having spotted Jack a while back and inviting him in for his first radio session on my show I couldn't wait to hear the new album in it's entirety. It's a stunning debut album with haunting songs and fab voice. Nice one Jack!'' - Janice Long
Anyone recovering from a 35-year coma right now might think that the days of Cat Stevens and James Taylor haven’t really gone at all. Young boho men with acoustic guitars and no fear of baring their souls; Damien Rice, Ray LaMontagne, Ben Harper (don’t blame me for listing these types, Jack’s own website does it too) – it’s all getting a mite too confessional at times.
Yet why complain? While the format may be getting a little ubiquitous and a little too comfortable it’s no worse than the umpteenth indie band that sound like they were freeze-dried in about 1982. Quality, as ever will out, and Jack’s probably got it. It’s up to us to make sure that we don’t push him too fast.
Yes, age is an issue here. While at the tender age of 22 he’s already got a fine, emotive voice and an undoubted gift for a heart-stopping chord sequence it’s in the lyrics that he’s yet to find his feet. If we’re making odious comparisons let’s look the original troubadour success of the last ten years: David Gray.
The reason Gray remains the king of this oeuvre is experience. It takes a few years of dues-paying, disappointment and struggle to make an album as gorgeously miserable as White Ladder seem so effortless. Mr Savoretti may be easy on the ears but you can’t help feeling that, like the recently released Findlay Brown, given a few more miles on the clock, he could be really saying something. Songs like “Black Rain” are too broad and general to really say more than ‘we build a house of cards…‘til we all fall down like black rain’. Which means what? His heart’s in the right place, but to be a truly unique voice he needs to have a unique way of saying it.
But this is a debut album and, as such, still stands as a proud achievement. John Martyn was a good four albums into his career before he started mining the real stuff. Watch this space. Jack may well have what it takes, only time will tell…