Jonathan Kimball: Optimisms [Album]
October 29, 2011 1 Comment
Folk music has inspired artists from several different spheres of music. Everyone knew that Kurt Cobain was a huge Leadbelly fan. And every musician knows what it means to strip themselves of electricity, and push around an old school feel with just their finger tips and an acoustic guitar. So when Jonathan Kimball dropped his solo debut albumOptimisims, with just this state of mind, it shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise. But for a prog rock, reggae, ska, and punk engineer of obscurity to bring it to the level he did, a bit of surprise was inevitable.
“Commentary’s bullshit anyway, severed at the skin, waiting to decay”. Lyrics to a death metal track? Nope. It’s just one clever bit of dark satire from Optimism’s star track, “Box of Empty Thoughts”. With an Art Garfunkel meets Hank III sort of country feel, Kimball pushes us from ships to flights of stories that tell us what exactly he believes it takes to be alive. He says it best on “Choice to Choose” with high pitched guitar picking and darkness versus light emotional battlefields put right out for the rest of us to digest.
The rebellious spirit is clear throughout Optimisms. But, this is an album that would could be heard with the same measure of delight in a hookah lounge in Antioch California, as it would in a tavern in Box Elder, South Dakota. Jonathan Kimball is an artist with an almost inconceivable range of talent. He seems to know what style will have the most impact at exactly the right moment. The yearning to hear what he is going to do next is a part of his appeal. Not just clever marketing. But, a brilliant way to breathe in the world of wordplay and musical development.
Find out what Jonathan Kimball has been up to lately by friending him on Facebook.