CD REVIEW: James Purnell - Whippoorwill
By Dan Cohen - 07/09/2012 - 04:51 PM EDT
Artist: Jamie Purnell
Label: Scruffie Munster Media
Sounds Like: Nancy Griffiths, Jonathan Edwards, Jackson Browne
Technical Grade: 8/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 8/10
Commercial Value: 9/10
Overall Talent Level: 9/10
Songwriting Skills: 10/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Whippoorwill, Southern Highway, Boy Next Door, Light of Day
It's summertime. Birds are singing, flowers are blooming. You're thinking of hiking to the creek to cool off. Perfect time for Jamie Purnell's Whippoorwill, a folky, countrified gift of an album from North Carolina singer/songwriter Jamie Purnell. The album's chock full of songwriting gems, from the happy-go-lucky title song to the Eaglesesque rocker Southern Highway to the plangent, heartfelt ballads that conclude the album. Boy Next Door is a kind of 'Bridesmaid' lament in reverse, a boyish best friend/nice guy wondering why he never gets the girl. You know the type, I know you do! Light of Day limns a dark night of the soul, pondering, obsessing, 'unsleeping eyes/unvarnished truth/unscrupulous deeds/of my untamed youth'. And a melody that explores and wanders like the singer's soul. A great song. Someone should cover it. Shania?
The production is clean and crisp throughout, and he's got a sweet, clear tenor with a sense of yearning to it. It felt a little forward in the mix, I could have used a bit more reverb on it, but these are quibbles...And I hate to quibble. Purnell's got a sweet way with a lyric and a wry take on the everyday banalities that make up a life. There's a great, novelistic portrait of a gal at the laundromat(Laundromat, natch), and a cute tune (Love Seat Wall) about all the crap that you don't know what to do with when you move. Or stay. Hey, it'll all fit somehow. You gotta love a guy whose performance credits include:
Co-wrote song “A New Day” and performed it with the UNC Loreleis, an
all-female a capella group, for a marriage proposal, Valentine’s Day, 2011.
Awwww. Purnell's clearly a sweet guy. And (not always the case!) a very talented songwriter. Let this Whippoorwill bend your ear.
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