Jad Fair & Danielson - Solid Gold Heart

Published Monday 9th March 2015
Jad Fair & Danielson - Solid Gold Heart
Jad Fair & Danielson - Solid Gold Heart

RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 151573-22160
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Oscar Hyde

Daniel Smith and his home-schooled New Jersey family have been making endlessly quirky psych-pop for more than 20 years now; they're a mainstream crossover institution, so beloved outside the Christian scene that they've even played at the ultra-hip Pitchfork Festival. Here, Smith and his band collaborate with Jad Fair, loud garage noise-rocker extraordinaire. The poetic and explicitly Christian lyrics of earlier releases are exchanged for near-hypnotic repetition of positivity - "Here we stand on the side of good," "Rockin' on the good side, rockin on the side of good" and "with the knowledge of 'yes we can'" - and psychedelia - "Hey there pop tart, ride that pony!" The musical quirkiness has crystallised, now more grounded in '60s and '70s influences - bits of blues, skiffle, cool jazz and radio-friendly acoustic rock, all distilled into an easygoing archetypal American sensibility, whether the multiple mentions of apple pie and pop tarts or the relentless optimism visible in the quoted lyrics above. Smith's charmingly squeaky voice takes a back seat to Fair's laid-back half-spoken style - in fact, in many ways, this seems to be Jad Fair featuring Danielson. It's not the most groundbreaking or breathtaking project Danielson have ever been involved in, but it's definitely one that'll make you feel good.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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