There is much to admire about Dutch musician ‘Jacco Gardner’. Firstly, his 60’s influenced sound is to be applauded as it effortlessly plays homage to a time where the creation of music actually required a modicum of talent. This consideration brings me on to the second point. To describe ‘Jacco Gardner’ as a multi-instrumentalist barely even scratches the surface. The artist plays all but the drums on his sophomore release ‘Hypnophobia’, confirming his master-musician moniker. The above two factors combined with a canny knack of being able to create a “nice melody” would certainly lend some weight to this second album evolving, from what was a stagnant debut.
‘Hypnophobia’ has a more natural, less humdrum, feel to it than that of the artists 2013 debut ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’. Certainly there are more obvious take-away tracks on offer. ‘Find Yourself’ demands ones attention, and while it still contains much of its 60’s psychedelic make-up it cleverly combines this with a more modern indie twist.
Title track ‘Hypnophobia’ and the stunning ‘Outside Forever’ also seems to indicate progression. Both tracks have a differing but obvious like-ability, with the latter offering a stunning warming melody.
But for all the previously mentioned melodies and progress this album offers it still doesn’t completely convince. Too often throughout the LP the artist doesn’t seem prepared to change the formula and the result is a release that is unfortunately forgettable. And I do mean ‘unfortunately’; as even with my mainly un-trained ear you can hear moments of possible brilliance within the albums content. Regrettably as soon as you think something offbeat is about to happen normal service is resumed. There are instances where you are willing a key change, an increase of tempo or simply something a little different. These moments happen all too infrequently.
After I reviewed the debut LP in 2013 I said that there was more to come from ‘Jacco Gardner’. While this album is a clear statement of maturity, the ‘Jacco Gardner’ I was hoping for is still a work-in-progress.
‘Hypnophobia’ is out now on ‘Full Time Hobby’
You can see ‘Jacco Gardner’ at one of the following venues…