I'm posting a track from my new album each week until the official release of "Held Momentarily" on January 20, 2015.   If you haven't already, check out the promotional video for the album on youtube (or here).

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"Jump Alone" is the eighth song on the album.  I wrote the core of this song back in 1999--just after I'd finished my second album Rebirth.  I had the first verse done, and all of the chords.  I played it over and over at the time, but was never able to find the thread that would allow me to complete it.  After a 12 year hiatus, I picked the song up again and finally finished it. The lyrics reflect the realization that you can spend time wishing that things had been different in your childhood--that you had been supported or nurtured better.  There comes a time when you have to just take a leap, and find the confidence and faith in yourself to do the things that scare you.  The song features Jonathan Ahrens on bass, and was mixed by Igor Stolarsky.


8 The Clash - London Calling

008: The Clash – London Calling (1979)

I did not love the Sex Pistols.  I liked the self-titled debut of The Clash more than I thought I would.  That album showed a musicianship far superior to the Pistols' (and the other punks band in my limited exposure).

This album takes that idea and blows it out times a hundred.  They break out of the genre and explore so many others (reggae, rockabilly, ska, New Orleans R&B, pop, lounge jazz, and hard rock--per the album's wikipedia page) that they caught heat from punk purists.  The last song on the "post-punk" double album, Train In Vain, reminds me so much of a Fleetwood Mac song.  Now that's post-punk.

It's a lot more fun than I expected.  Once again, the album started growing on me the more I listened to it.

My favorite songs: London Calling, Lost In The Supermarket, The Guns of Brixton, Lover's Rock, and Train In Vain.  The Guns of Brixton is so modern, it still sounds fresh (with the possible exception of that spring "boing" sample that is repeated throughout, although that has grown on me too).  It sounds like a predecessor to some Gorillaz tracks.



7 Rolling Stones - Exile On Main Street

007: The Rolling Stones – Exile on Main St (1972)

First, I need to vent about something I've learned over the course of this project.  Bonus tracks, especially in the case of classic albums, should not be part of one's initial experience of an album.  With many of the albums I've listened to this year that had bonus material, the added stuff was obviously of a lesser caliber than that of the original release.  Sure, if you already love the album, a few extra tracks recorded at the same time might be interesting.  But, otherwise, it's an unnecessary diversion.

I mention this because this album (or the re-released version on Spotify) had 10 extra tracks tacked on to the end.  That brought the total listening time close to an hour and 45 minutes.

The previous three Stones' albums on this list have been among my favorites of the year.  This album follows those 3 records chronologically, and was recorded while the band were in exile due to tax evasion.  Keith Richards was deep into his heroin addiction, and the band was not having an easy time working together while in France.  Mick Jagger did not like the direction the band was taking, and changed course on the albums that followed.

I've had a harder time with this, their most acclaimed, record.  None of the songs here grab me in the way their previous album's songs did (i.e. Wild Horses, You Can't Always Get...).  Also, I've already admitted that I don't love the Blues (which I know makes me a bad person)...and this album is very much rooted in American Blues.

I do love the production--horns and background vocals especially.

I do like the songs Rocks Off and Loving Cup.

That's something.  Right?





I didn't fall in love with either of these records this week.  London Calling surprised me, while Exile On Main St disappointed.  Critics didn't love Exile when it first came out, so perhaps it's a grower, not a shower?  I liked the other Rolling Stones albums earlier in the year so much that I'm sure I'll revisit this album again somewhere down the line.  Perhaps I'll be more open to receiving its gifts then.

Up Next

006: Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On (1971) 005: The Beatles – Rubber Soul (1965)

Want to listen ahead, or see some posts you may have missed? Check out the full list of the 100 Greatest Albums here.