Tuesday, 1 January 2019

Jackson Browne - I'm Alive (1993)

Sky blue and black....


Released October 1993

For this album, in 1993, Jackson Browne left behind the political "message" songs of the eighties and returned to the singer-songwriter relationship-based, melodic songs that made him famous in the seventies with a string of tender, thoughtful albums such as Late For The Sky and The Pretender.


1. I'm Alive
2. My Problem Is You
3. Everywhere I Go
4. I'll Do Anything
5. Miles Away
6. Too Many Angels
7. Take This Rain
8. Two Of Me, Two Of You
9. Sky Blue And Black
10. All Good Things                          

I'm Alive vaguely reminds me of Van Morrison for some reason, in its rhythm, understated guitar backing and vocal cadences in places. It has a great rumbling bass line and drum sound on it too as well as some seriously riffy guitar. A great track. My Problem Is You is similarly impressive, but this time in a quieter, piano-driven fashion, with crystal clear vocals. Browne has always liked flirting with reggae, and he does so here with the infectious, appealing Everywhere I Go. It also has some Steely Dan-esque Haitian Divorce guitar enhancing it as well and some almost "toasting"-style vocals at one point. I'll Do Anything is a laid-back, pleasant mid-pace rock number of the king Browne has always done so well. It has an impressive drum and bass guitar interplay near the end.

Miles Away is a brooding, riffy and bluesy rocker with some excellent organ breaks and a confident rock vocal. It reminds of something else but I can't put my finger on what. Too Many Angels is gentle and acoustic, in a Mark Knopfler sort of way. There are hints of Paul Simon in it as well. That This Rain is a typically uplifting, guitar and evocative vocal Jackson Browne song. It has a killer chorus. It is a song that reminds me of just how much I have enjoyed Jackson Browne's music for the best part of forty years and more. It is one of those moments you get on all of his albums when you just think "yes!".

Two Of Me, Two Of You is a mournful, sombre song about relationship problems sung out over the usual immaculate backing. Sky And Black is one of those lengthy and majestic (six minute) numbers that often used to appear near the end of an album , such as Before The Deluge or For Everyman. The guitar solo in the middle is sumptuous. Lovely stuff. Best track on the album along with the title track. The album ends with the Springsteen-esque All Good Things as Browne tells us over a Searchers-style guitar riff, that "all good things come to an end". So, then, does this interesting, but slightly low-key album.


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