Jack Wilson – Self-Titled

Floating somewhere between Austin and Seattle, Jack Wilson settled down and released his debut full-length album. Many say that Wilson’s geographic locations influence his music, but that just seems silly to say. Wilson’s music is not like a Steinbeck novel building around the Salinas Valley; his music is void of this supposed influence of dwelling in a certain city. There isn’t any kind of this annoying pretense in Wilson’s songs.

There is a real difficulty in the pacing of Wilson’s album; it’s hard to find breathing room between each track and, inevitably, the songs have a habit of running together. It’s hard to keep track of every twang and crying steel guitar as the songs begin and end and drag on.

Wilson is strongest when it’s mainly him and his acoustic guitar. On “Dogwood Days” Wilson’s lyrics are convincing and moving as he declares his love for his mother, father and his brothers. Though the lyrics are disconnected and disorganized, the song is sweetly sentimental. Similarly, “Fell Inside” leaves a lasting impression even though an intrusive slide guitar certainly smothers the sensitive aspects that make the track so strong.

Simplicity seems to be the key to Wilson’s success. The more instruments, the more vocals, and the more attempts to add the cliché country-alternative instrumentals to the tracks, the more Wilson’s true talent gets washed out. Wilson’s voice complimented with an acoustic guitar is a sure winner. But, Wilson with a cookie-cutter country band behind him makes his album gift shop fodder at the local Cracker Barrel.

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March 8, 2012. Albums.

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