Artist Spotlight

Review: Jack Lover, “Humour, Love and Health”

No Comments 11 January 2015

Review: Jack Lover, “Humour, Love and Health”

“Jack Lover is undoubtedly a treasure to the people of Eday, but he has a lot to teach us all about life, love, and humor. It is a rare pleasure to hear the work of someone who has something to say, and who can draw on every facet of their experiences in life in the process.”

Artist: Jack Lover

Album: Humour, Love and Health

Genre: Easy Listening / Folk

Jack Lover Humour Love and Health

It’s not often that we receive submissions this unusual. We definitely get our fair share of unique material here at Indie-Music, but generally not from 95-year-old residents of the Island of Eday in Orkney (an archipelago in northern Scotland). So when the opportunity arose to listen to a vast set of songs from a man who’s lived a lot of life, we took it. And I can definitely attest that this is an entertaining and inspiring collection of songs from an uncommon songwriter.

Jack Lover has conveniently divided his songs into just what the title suggests, tunes laced with humor, love and health. This record is a rarity in being able to successfully convey those themes with every effort. But another theme that isn’t so plainly laid out is one of international connection, and the exploration of those differences and profound similarities in culture.

That said, he starts off with humor, because how fitting is it to introduce yourself with a wink and a nod? The standout of the first four tracks is “Pasta March (Ravioli Man).” At several points, Lover’s lyrics bring a hearty chuckle when describing this ‘Ravioli Man’ “whose overheads are low but is making lots of dough.” His sense of humor can be wry and dry, and the lyrics escape being classified as campy because of his perceptive delivery. A lesson for those trying to weave a comedic element into their music: it’s more about wit and writing about truth than manufacturing a joke.

Next, we move onto love. And that means love of various forms: love of country, love of life, love of the unrequited nature, and so on. What I enjoy the most is that Lover explores so many forms, rather than sticking to just the boy-meets-girl romantic variety. Romanticism and nostalgia mix very powerfully when Lover sings of Mandela, inspired by the days of post-apartheid in his native South Africa. He was born in Cape Town in 1920, and his experiences and upbringing influenced songs like “Song to Mandela” and “Mandela’s Rainbow Nation.”

The forever potent well of romantic love, however, produces some of the most intriguing lyrics on the record, however. On “Waiting,” Lover asks “Oh tell me darling what are you waiting for? / I’m waiting for the rain to fill my tank…” And lines like “Don’t know how to behave when you’re around, Should I try to be boss or be a slave, The answer I know lies in your smile” on “When You’re Around (Don’t Know How to Behave)” are so direct, simple and lovingly crafted they automatically bring a knowing smile to your face.

The final vignette of the record is about health; a significant factor in Lover’s own life and a subject that doesn’t often get tackled because it’s decidedly less sexy than passion and poetry. “White Sugar Blues, Pt. 1 & Pt. 2” take on the weighty topic of diabetes and disease and “Debacle Night” just flat out made me laugh with the chorus “Debacle by day, debacle by night…I swear their debacle is worse than their bite!”.

Jack Lover is undoubtedly a treasure to the people of Eday, but he has a lot to teach us all about life, love, and humor. It is a rare pleasure to hear the work of someone who has something to say, and who can draw on every facet of their experiences in life in the process. What’s the lesson here? To play to your strengths, harness your individual voice and never underestimate the power of a dash of humility and humor in doing so. Songwriters take note; you should be your unique self at every opportunity. Humour, Love and Health is a prime example of this lesson.

Jack Lover website: http://www.jacklover.co.uk/

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