Less Deceived, yet again. I have just realized one of the facts of reviewing soundcloud accounts is, at least for the most interesting stuff, periodically I’ll have to update the reviews. And you know what, Less Deceived, this Theo Jackson guy, might just be my favorite music in the entirety of soundcloud and bandcamp. Some other guys I reviewed here rival it, of course, such as Àlfheimr and Victor Florence, but there’s something about this music that I love – and it pains me in butt that this guy doesn’t allow me to download it. But putting that aside.
He doesn’t have that many plays and, though I have favorited absolutely everything on sight, not many people have done the same, and I understand that. Most of the people making independent music today focus on creating either pretty or interesting sounds or respond to the absolute freedom of independent music by coming up with bordering insane concepts for concept albums (which I’m guilty of, having one concept album out and polishing two at the moment), and since that’s what everyone is doing, that’s what everyone is interested on as well – and that’s leaving aside all the electronic dance stuff, which is a world of itself.
So I see how this can pass unnoticed, and that’s a shame, because what this guy is doing is perfecting the good old songwriting craft, and I find that’s more relevant to his music than its jazz style itself. I’ll put it this way: if I had to choose between being able to deliver all of the prettiness that Àlfheimr is capable of coming up with, or being able to write these perfect little love songs that Theo Jackson writes, I’d choose the latter. Isn’t that the essence of being a fan, at least from the fellow artist’s viewpoint, the envy of their talent and the desire to do something as powerful?
And that’s why I go for Less Deceived when I want a a bit of a class on contemporary pop songwriting, even though I don’t really write much of that. I find the chord progressions, the bass lines, the interesting piano playing, the subtle drumming, the way the main melodies are so careless in themselves, but so precise in relation to the music, all the while being so emotional and pretty, and such good singing, all of these stuff, I find them flawless and deeply satisfactory. I couldn’t point out anything wrong in these songs, I wish there were three times as many, or decades’ worth of a discography, and I wish I had free time to listen to it until exhaustion like I could do with Dylan as a young man.
But anyhow. The immediate reason for this review is that, in addition to the four songs in their account at the time of the first review, they have recently uploaded what appears to be the full recording of a show at The Troubadour. I know it’s a traditional place and all, but I’m not sure this means a successful career or anything, which is a shame, I wish these guys can achieve well-earned success in the short term. I can’t think of a good reason why some of these tracks can’t be hits of some sort.
So I strongly recommend you go there now and listen to both his home recordings and his live recordings. Maybe you have, such as I, grown a bit weary of concept albums involving Charlemagne’s brother and other pedantic shit and, again such as I, feel like listening to perfectly well-crafted little love songs in a jazz setting. If you feel a little bit like that, click the applets above and have a ball, this is some great stuff.
Also, apparently the drummer manages the soundcloud account. Turn on the downloads dude, fucking ask for some money at least. Pic related.
(a mediafire link will work too)