Music review: Jonathan Wilson, 'Fanfare' (the short version: it's a masterpiece)


A nice enough production, but it seems to be more of a collection of references and homages. I kept getting pulled out of the experience by being reminded of the source materials. Beatles, ELO (ironic), Fleetwood Mac, Pink Floyd, even some Peter Frampton.

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I’ve learned, over the years, not to question a musical review from boing boing… but brother, i just spent money on this cuz of the review… masterpiece? let’s hope not.

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I wonder what Lou Reed would think of this music.

Wait, I thoguht the internet already agreed on best Rock n’ Roll album of the year:

… it’s Yeezus.


I guess to get anyone to listen anymore when you recommend something on the Internet, you have to way, way overstate your case.

Careful with the masterpiece tag…this isn’t even close. A couple of catchy bits, mostly uneven, and seems to be trying too hard for the experimental label, while just sounding like a derivative mix of 60s and 70s forerunners. Without the drooling hype this would be a promising record but instead it’s disappointing. Good job guys!

It’s Neil from the Young Ones, surely? “And all that I knew was the hole in my shoe…”

Although Metzger listens to “new” music, he almost always ignores “newish” music and remains stuck on obvious 1960’s era styles found in contemporary tunes. Not saying the album can’t be good, but his perspective is not unlike the lady who still has that haircut from the 1970’s.

It’s beautifully recorded, I’ll definitely give it that. I think there should be a requirement that all music reviews begin with an accounting of how long (how many plays through, approximately) the reviewer spent with the material. It makes all the difference a lot of times.

Well, remember, this is BB. Hyperbole and overstatement is sort of the house style.
It’s nice enough music. Masterpiece, though? Not really.

That Dear Friend really swells and swoops.

Am I allowed to thank @Xeni for introducing me to this music, or would the previous commentators find that to be an excessive display of gratitude?

PS- my new band name is The Taxonomy Hegemony.

I greatly appreciate the work that the Dangerous Minds folk do, but they have been banging on about Jonathan Wilson for some time now and I’m not feeling it.

Here’s my thinking about this: When genre music is sufficiently developed, you’ll never achieve greatness unless you bring your personality, or some personality, to the performance. For instance, there’s hardly any reason to play the Blues unless you can project a larger-than-life personality in your lyrics and voice.

The “Laurel Canyon Sound” is old and established enough to be its own genre now. Jonathan Wilson is too respectful of it and he puts it in a museum (much like what Wynton Marsalis does with Jazz, no disrespect intended).

On the other hand, Joshua Tillman recorded the Father John Misty album, “Fear Fun,” with Jonathan Wilson as the producer. This is a wildly uneven album, but it nails the genre. Joshua Tillman plays the part of a drug-crazed Hollywood neer-do-well – it’s almost entirely an act, but it succeeds in being larger than life and overshadows the sense that you’re listening to a pastiche of Seals & Crofts songs.

I really dig it. Thanks for turning me on to Jonathan Wilson, Xeni.

Yeah, there’s some derivative homage going on here. But I also think it’s a pretty novel combination of soundscapes. It had me dancing down the street and uttering an occasional ‘fuck yeah’ while listening to it the first time.

Will it stand the test of time? Maybe. Need a few more listens to be sure. But it’s damn fine listening, either way.

Masterpiece? It’s like when people call anybody in music a genius who has been around more than 10 years.

It sounds like Nick Drake making love to The Wallflowers. There are some catchy hooks, but it sounds like a million other singer songwriters.

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