After a series of single releases so far in 2020, the self-titled album JD Simo will be out on August 21st. With the 10 songs on this new album, Simo shows that tone is in the hands. With constant changes of mood or rhythm in or between the songs, certainly, one thing that this album is not is monotone. Considering the jazzy approach mainly showed by JD Simo in Off At 11 (2019), in this new album, he took a different path but always keeping the multiple sorts of effects added to the guitars.
The lead song on the album is “The Movement”, a funkadelic track with fuzzy guitar lines, detached rhythmical drums, and falsetto vocals whose melodic riff grabs attention in the first bar. “Love” is a song previously released as a single in June 2020. This song has a well-explored rhythm guitar and a highlighted pop chorus where Simo explores good vibes and a sentimental side despite the COVID-19 pandemic. “Out Of Sight” is a contemporary blues with sharp guitar riffs that show James Brown’s influence on Simo’s work.
Simo recently said in an interview that the Silvertone guitars and Ampeg amps are the ultimate gear that he is using nowadays. And these were probably used in “Higher Plane” and “Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalamistic”, songs with triumphal overtures, well-compassed and extremely fuzzy bass and guitar lines. “One Of Those Days” is another song previously released as a single. It’s a kind of R&B with falsettos and clean layers of guitars spiced with vibrato and octave effects. “Take That” is an instrumental frenetic rockabilly where Simo shows all his ability on the guitar.
“Soul Of A Man” is a Blind Willie Johnson cover in which Simo wears it with a modern cloth. On “Help” the highlights are the several layers of guitar lines, a crunchy vocal where reverbs and delays give a particular ambiance for the song. The album ends with “Anna Lee”, which could be called the closest of a traditional blues, with clean (but not so much) guitar lines and stereophonic slide solos.
JD Simo definitely is a mature album where the difference between playing notes and playing music flows through it. It’s a new step that consolidates his discography and shows all the textures, approaches, and balance of Simo’s music.
The Review: 8.5/10
Can’t Miss Tracks
– The Movement
– Higher Plane
– One Of These Days
The Big Hit
– The Movement