Back to the Sky
(Sound, 2007)

I hesitate to use the term "easy listening" in regard to an album of folk-pop music. But Jacanda's Back to the Sky is easy listening for grown-ups. And that's not a bad thing.

Jacanda was formed in Bristol, United Kingdom, in January 2006 under the leadership of guitarist and songwriter Chris Pritchett. He wrote all titles on the album. Pritchett has a soothing voice that isn't overwhelmed by -- nor lords it over -- the instrumentation. Providing back up are Ed Body and Steven Beek, percussion; Kev Hawthorn, piano; James Phillips, sax and vocals; and Nick Pritchett, guitar, cello and vocals.

The 10 tracks are pleasant and relaxing. That is until you concentrate on the lyrics, which have more depth than is first perceived. They are both intelligent and poetic commentaries on everything from lost love to death. "Roundabout" even offers comment on the miseries of Darfur. There are elements reminiscent of James Taylor, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Peter Gabriel.

One track, "Ghost of a Smile," was awarded Record of the Year for 2007 by Radio Six International, an Internet station focusing on acoustic, jazz and classical music.

Aside from all that, Jacanda provides good vocals, excellent acoustic guitar, outstanding sax and -- if that isn't enough -- throws in some mandolin, cello, piano and bongos for good measure.

If that's enough to satisfy you in an album then Back to the Sky is definitely worth the investment of time for a listen.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
John R. Lindermuth

26 July 2008

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