epulse, the musically omnivorous weekly ezine of Pulse! and Classical Pulse! magazines

October 24, 1997

Weltschmerz of the week:

For those who have yet to sample the majesty that is LITTLE JACK MELODY & HIS YOUNG TURKS, a world of wonder awaits. Like a young Frank Sinatra battling terminal ennui while bravely fronting a drunken circus oompah band, this Denton, Texas, combo swings, swoons and croons its way into your heart on "MY CHARMED LIFE" (Carpe Diem/ADA, out now.)

Traditional rock instrumentation is replaced by an ear-catching lineup of tuba, harmonium, drums and saxes, which lend a timeless quality to Herr Melody’s melancholy tales of misplaced romance and slow-dying dreams: from "Samba Ordinaire"’s spry ode to the suburban workday ("Good morning, world, hello, alarm/ where’s my several cups of coffee?/ a shower chases dreams away/ on this ordinary day") to the strangely haunting "Mr. Horizon," who gets fired once the narrator’s ship has come in (Whenever somebody’s wishes come true/ lonely horizons have nothing to do".)

Kilroy, Kerouac, Barbie, Ken and Judas all find their way into Little Jack’s lyrical lexicon, but this time out the novelty factor has been toned down in favor of a more heartfelt approach that heralds the arrival of a serious songwriter, particularly on tracks like "At Night You Hear the Trains," "Maggie, with Green Eyes" and "Gone in October." "My Charmed Life" is the Young Turks’ third album, but the first to receive proper national distribution; that means you still have a shot at being the first on your block to discover The Only Lounge Band That Really Matters.









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