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CD Review: Jim Noir's Tower of Love

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Jim Noir, Tower of Love, on Barsuk Records.

"My Patch" is a pleasantly interesting start to this album with telephone-tweaked vocals, uppity rhythm and twangy instrumentation. The clue of what was to come was the Brian Wilson styled bridge. [Hint: if you are a Jim Noir fan, please stop reading here]

Jim Noir's effort is one of those singer-songwriter-with-access-to-nice-recording-setup albums. He's an excellent musician and he sure knows how to lay down track after track of self-harmonizing vocals. It's all very pretty and while Noir has a knack for finding a lyrical hook, that one lyric pretty much comprises each entire song.

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The end result is a collection of repetitive songs that sound nice but what an unkind person might call "overproduced." The tracks that are the most direct homages to Brian Wilson get tiresome about halfway into the CD (note: probably the most repetitive song, "Eanie Meany," is unleashed upon us again later with "Eanie Meany 2").

Noir is definitely talented but these days since we seem to be inundated with any number of singer-songwriters it might be best for him to (choose one or more): join an actual band; write songs for an extant band; put himself under the tutelage of a producer who will help him develop these songs to their full potential.

This thinly-veiled tribute album may have seemed remarkably innovative to twenty-somethings like Jim Noir but the Dukes of Stratosphear, an XTC concept band, released the insurmountable Chips from the Chocolate Fireball: An Anthology when Noir and his friends were still soiling their diapers. The Dukes' album might be a better investment of your hard earned cash, and will blow your socks off if you are into this kind of psychedelica.

Standout tracks on Noir's Tower of Love are "My Patch," the quirky loungecore instrumental "Tower of Love," and "Tell Me What To Do." I look forward to seeing what Noir does his next time around, he's got the chops, he just needs the meat.

Get Tower of Love HERE