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Reviews: Jeff Neville ~ A Romantic War Novel|
Posted on Sunday, May 03, 2009 @ 11:25:04 UTC
Artist: Jeff Neville
CD: A Romantic War Novel
Home: Chicago, Illinois
Quote: " ... not just a collection of songs, but a movie that chronicles one relationship."
By Jamie Anderson
At first glance, the cover drawing of a man at a typewriter in front of a fireplace makes it look like itís a folk album, maybe a collection of war songs. But pop in the CD and youíll find not just a collection of songs, but a movie that chronicles one relationship. I love that it moves from "Watch Her," where he wonders "If I could just find the right words for this lady, to get past the maybe" to the end, where he sings "Take Me Back." His off-key vocals sometimes sound like a whispered conversation, an intimate thing that almost makes you look away. Itís too personal, you might think, but isnít that what art is?
Neville plays the keyboards and percussion and sings, keeping the arrangements simple, while Mark Heuer offers up some moody trumpet. Thereís an emotional cabaret feel to it all. Order a drink, light a cigarette, and settle in to hear the story.
From the "will she like me" vibe of the first cut, he moves into "What She Said to Me," her response to his interest. In "Yours Truly," he asks her to take a chance on him. With "Your Stubborn Pride," itís clear from the delivery and dynamic piano chords that heís pissed off. "Itís Over" is just what it is, a declaration. Theyíre still spending time together but why? Thereís a short instrumental break with "Interlude" then weíre back to "Tonight," where he starts to come to terms with the break up. In "Let It Drop" he reflects on the relationship and wonders if they can be friends. It ends with "Take Me Back" where Iím not sure thatís really what he wants.
His stream-of-consciousness lyrics like "we watched a movie, and then we walked to the store, in the meantime, you go in and buy some cigarettes ... " (from "Itís Over") tell the story passively. Iíd love some sharp images using active verbs. The music wanders, too, making it hard to focus on the story.
Artist Website: http://www.MySpace.com/jeffneville
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