In a world of acid-jazz fusion and experimental funk, rock-rap crossover, indie-folk, and hip-hop classical blends (probably), listening to a Stephen Jacques album feels like a safe, honest, and uncluttered oasis. It isn’t that he doesn’t try to push the boundaries. It’s just that his musical boundaries concern himself as a songwriter more than trying to create new sonic pastures. He knows what he likes to do…and he’s bloody good at it.

Blending country and rock and roll, Americana and folk, Send Them Love is a gloriously relatable album filled with timeless, fresh, but slightly familiar sounds. (Which is the balancing act that all great music, all future classics exhibit.)

Earlier single, Symphony of Freaks, kicks things off in fine style, but I wasn’t expecting Utah Countryside, which follows, to stir up so many memories of Nikki Sudden, so I thank him. French Wake Up Call is jaunty and joyous, Texas To Brooklyn is a classic “hit the road” song, part Midnight Cowboy, part Johhny Thunders and Midnight Lover is the sort of ballad The Stones would have written in their 70’s heyday.

Today, there is much talk of “safe spaces” for people, unthreatening and welcoming places. Stephen Jacques’s music is mine!

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Musician, scribbler, historian, gnostic, seeker of enlightenment, asker of the wrong questions, delver into the lost archives, fugitive from the law of averages, blogger, quantum spanner, left footed traveller, music journalist, zenarchist, freelance writer, reviewer and gemini. People have woken up to worse.

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