Although well known and highly regarded on the acoustic and open mic. circuit as a mainly solo player, what becomes immediately obvious upon hearing Good Times is that Jimmy has totally embraced the scope that the recording studio has to offer. Not only is everything you expect from his sound present, the inclusion of a host of additional studio layering really enables him to explore his own songs fully. It is Moore only more so. The trademark guitar dexterity is still the starting point but now cellos sweep through below the melody, tabla drums emphasis the groove, bass lines ground the songs and kit drums lock the whole thing together. The songs have always been there, now though it is as if someone has flung open the curtains, flooding the room with light and warmth and a beam of light has illuminated their potential.
The central point of the album for me is, ironically enough, Anchor where the combination of beats, more direct guitar work, great use of dynamics plus a killer melody mesh to present something that we haven’t seen before, Jimmy Moore as a chart option, if that song appeared before the record buying masses with the name Bugg or Sheeran attached it would undoubtedly sell by the shedload. Similarly Heaviest Heart is Frank Turner without the politics another sure fire sell.
The danger of first ventures into the studio is that child in a sweetshop feeling and the desire to delve into every jar and try every option available. Thankfully it is something that Jimmy has wised up too and avoided and what you have with Good Times is still essentially a solo effort but with just the right amount of musical addition and studio exploration. That said suddenly the prospect of Jimmy Moore as a full band is a tempting thought.
First published in The Ocelot – Dec 14