Somewhere – JD Days (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

We know that JD Days has the ability to wander all over the sonic spectrum, taking in all manner of influences and hopping between numerous musical genres, from folky acoustica to indie groovers to rap-infused dance-pop. But I feel that in his heart he is an old-school acoustic balladeer, a hopeless romantic who loves nothing better than picking up his guitar and pouring out his heart, waxing lyrical about those he loves and the dreams that he holds. And why not? There isn’t enough heart-on-sleeve sentimentality in the world and if there is one thing that it needs, especially now, is honest outpourings of devotion and dedication. It’s pretty much what modern music was invented for.

Mick had his Angie, Kiss had their Beth, Rod had Maggie May, JD has…well, he leaves the name unspoken, as a proper gentleman would, but presumably Somewhere is a continuation of the sentiments found in songs like Angel Woman and Evergreen Christmas. There is something Lennon-esque in its simple passions and its fairly unadorned musical directness, and although propelled gently forward by a rhythm section, meandering violin and restrained piano, it is not just the vocals but the simple pleasures of the message being delivered which becomes the focal point. The perfect example of a band doing their job brilliantly, adding important sonic weight and detail but never getting in the way of the song.

This sort of song seems to be out of vogue these days, pop-pickers opting for a more gimmicky, more easily marketable product…a suitably dehumanising word in itself… something full of dance routines and easy contagion. Somewhere reminds us how great all those coffee-shop troubadours of the sixties really were as this song, consciously or otherwise really tips its hat to that more musically honest time. 

It is a song which revels in the future, in dreams, which celebrates hope and most of all puts love on a pedestal. How great is that? We get so used to cynical takes on relationships, songs about things going wrong, about laying blame, used, perhaps, as a form of exorcism, that when a song which is unbridled and open in its affections comes along, it seems very disarming and out of step with the world of today. But that is our failing and Somewhere is actually a reminder that rather than dwelling on the darkness we should be dancing in the sunlight.

In short: Somewhere – where did it all go so right?

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