Justin Farren – Pretty Free (Independent )
Sacramento California singer-songwriter Justin Farren’s latest album, his fourth full-length recording was recorded in a shack in his backyard. Like ever so many of his kind (singer-songwriters) Farren, due to the restrictions imposed was left with time on his hands to both write, and as is the case here, record.
On the record he plays acoustic, electric guitar, piano, organ, upright, electric bass, percussion to go with the fine work of Brian Chas Rogers, Andre Fylling, Anna Tivel and others. With most songs around the four minute mark, some lasting up to five minutes the listener is well served. Farren’s view of life and the world we live in gives much food for thought.
Always opens the record in a shuffling format as he speaks of how we were older back then, and how Friday nights come on faster now. As he gets older. Plus how life can be busy. Always speaks of been in need of a little more love, and always having a little less time to to apply it enjoys among other delights, splendid lead electric guitar. Eyes Be Healed is a conversational styled piece that speaks of his father going for an eye test. Warmed in quirky lyrics and a chugging rhythm it hits the spot. How’s Your Garden Grow is fuelled by piano as in melancholy fashion he speaks of the summer he met Virginia. I had just turned, she fixed us both a scotch and water. Stood up and (we) danced to a half static radio. Fixer Upper has him reflect on watching a full moon impress full through a picture window that would never have been if they had take the advice of the architect. In a town split in two by the freeway. Once again Farren lightens the mood on introducing some finely penned wry lyrics. On There’s No Such Thing As A Bad Day you have a bustling number awash with snappy lyrics, and with some talking blues. That go nicely with the song’s later helter skelter pace to give the perfect mix. His best track. Maybe. My Uncle Bill has him speak, with warmth of his late Uncle’s traits, his simple life and how he walked tall and of one Christmas when he was still smoking. A man that kept it real, and lived life in his time. One More Night has Farren provide a pretty, gentle ballad. That speaks of what you see is what you get, and how he hates the way they parted. Two Wheel Drive And Japanese has him sing of how he’ll sing a country song and a pickup truck and a girl he doesn’t deserve. Powered by chunky lead guitar in the song he is a suburban kid, a bad ass, and dedicates a song to the a guy he never wants to be again. Lots of raw energy, of the kind you would not readily expect to come from him. Mama is a song that, like my Uncle Bill looks back on the life of someone dear to him. That retraces his relationship and happy memories, some simple like seeing his mother dressed up in her Sunday clothes. Fond memories. Worthy Of The Sea is a one for children, whimsical, and cleverly worked the image strewn song speaks of coming into the world empty handed, and how though nothing is expected of you for some time you will eventually have to contribute. Last Year Was The Best Year has a beautiful piano accompaniment as a sombre feel takes over as he speaks of among other things, California. All that yellow turning to gold.
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Review thanks to www.flyinshoesreview.eu