Album Review

Joyner, Simon & The Fallen Men – “Skeleton Blues ” – [Jagjaguwar]

Thurston Hunger   1/4/2007   12-inch, A Library

Simon Joyner’s air-the-spare release “Heaven’s Gate” is one of my
favorite skeletons in the KFJC closet of loner songsmiths. Here Simon is
flanked by banks of fallen men; an infantry in tune with the sense of
futility. Joyner’s voice occasionally dips and detunes in contrast to
his steadfast sonic soldiers…the longer he holds (clutches?) on to a
note, the more the hurt oozes out. His more sparky-speak approach, as on
“Open Window Blues” may work better, but then we’re minus a melody. And
words as striking as these deserve more towering trappings. Therein lies
my grudgey rub and it makes me sadder than the 3 “Blues” offered here…
sadder than the dyed-indie-woolgathering ‘No Depression’ regressions
over tired chord progressions. Still death and ghosts haunt this lp
with little tips, even Denmark’s prince is summoned back from his crypt
to the parapet. The two that worked the best for me put a female face
on the spectral: “Answer Night” and “My Side of the Blues.” Still
there’s no joy in Joyner…and that’s a fine thing.

-Thurston Hunger

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