Easy On the Ears

Too Much Too Soon (Independent)
Jamison Taylor French

By Kevin Gibson

Jamison Taylor French's bio notes that he blends funk, jazz, hip-hop, alternative and rock to create his sound. To me, this EP sounds more like a straight-ahead, down-the-middle fastball of a modern pop-rock record. It's radio-ready, accessible, easy to swallow.

Track four, "Not For You," certainly veers into some mild funk and hip hop territory, but for the most part this young Louisville man makes the most of tight hooks and solid pop grooves, using them as backdrops for his personal reflections of love, lust, jealousy and regret.

Vocally and, to a lesser extent, stylistically, French bears a vague resemblance to fellow Louisvillian Peter Searcy. French's blazing pop blasts show the same sparkle and energy as Searcy's "Could You Please and Thank You." (Coming from me, that's no small compliment.)

French is at his best churning out these heavy-duty radio hits ("So Tight, So Fine" and "Fade to Grey"), but he takes an interesting turn on the EP's closing track, "I Can't Believe." Lyrically, it's nothing special - unless you're blown away by songs about hooking up with a great girl - but the mood he presents, he executes perfectly. It's smoky, with a heavy bass line and a just-screechy-enough guitar solo; once again, right down the middle. It's nothing groundbreaking, but it sure sounds good coming out of the speakers.

Last time I checked, that's what a damn good pop-rock record was supposed to do. I predict good things for this French fellow.

French will play a CD release show June 11 at Uncle Pleasant's. Check out www.jamisonfrench.com

for more info.