Charmed To Death – Stephen Jacques (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

When I Fell In Love With You was my first taste of Stephen Jacques wonderfully ragged, slightly world-weary rock and roll. I loved it. It reminded me of a wealth of gipsy-rock guitar-slingers from my formative years, ones who understood that it isn’t about polished conformity or echoing commercial sounds, it is about doing what you do with real passion and authenticity. I am pleased to report that the full-length album that spawned the aforementioned single, is a wealth of just such emotions.

One Day You’ll Discover kicks things off, marking Jacques out as one of a hallowed gang of brilliantly scuzzy, rock and roll, troubadours such as Johnny Thunders, Nikki Sudden and The Dogs D’Amour in his louche and loose delivery. You can hear the strut and the swagger coming right off the record. Simple Life Man adds a New Wave vibe to the proceedings, Morning Surfers is a pop-stoner hybrid and Charmed To Death is a brooding and bombastic slow-grooving rocker.

But it is an album of surprising sweetness too. Songs like Caroline, Voyage To Your Heart and Love For A Moment being as good an alternative, back-street ballad as you are likely to hear in the current age.

It’s always a bit of a worry when you hear a cool single, hoping that the album to follow matches the benchmark set by that first taste of an artist. Well, not only is Charmed To Death everything that the first single hinted at, but it is also perfectly named.

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  1. Thanking Dave Franklin for this review and kind words. We really enjoyed making this record with the producer Alan Weatherhead.
    – Strphen Jacques

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