The Jackmorons

Jerry Joseph helms the Jackmorons, a Portland, Oregon outfit that specializes in resolute Americana anthems propelled by passion and purpose. Those strengths are certainly evident here, and though Joseph has forfeited individual billing, his dark, tempestuous perspective still prevails. The arrangements have been altered this time around, given denser textures and an unlikely infusion of electronica elements. This blend of shimmering atmospherics and homegrown grit works better than it ought to, especially in the case of "Cool Hand Love," "Swimming to Phuket," and "Touchless Automatic," songs that boast a sound as tangled as their titles imply. Nevertheless Joseph's genius resides in his ability to temper soaring sentiments with earthbound angst and a liberal dose of allegorical allusion.

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Lee Zimmerman