Brother JT

Come on Down

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Starting with a "Message to the Listener," as JT's whispery voice emerges from a shadowy murk of backwards-masking vocals, echoing guitar, general aural fuzziness, and more than a little all-around strangeness, Come on Down shows the man still in fine and very weird form. When not working with Vibrolux, JT clearly feels less need to sound like he's writing and performing basic rock tunes or jams, letting his imagination go wherever it takes him. "It Keeps Raining" is a great example of this, as pattering showers form the semi-rhythm while JT recollects in a deep, treated voice about the Virgin Mary turning into a dog's head and how the Internet is being used to enslave humanity. He definitely knows his way around his four-track, flanging vocals, and instruments, eschewing percussion in favor of letting bass dictate the rhythm, making everything sound generally as queasy as he wants to be and otherwise going merrily nuts. Lyrically he certainly comes up with some fun twists, as on "Thank You St. Jude": "Make all the bad people die... and please get me some food." Aside from the sheer joy of hearing somebody do something that clearly is meant to please himself first and foremost over, say, a marketing committee, Come on Down succeeds on its own drifting, sweetly melancholy merits. "Lazy" is a definite winner, JT pitching his vocals just slightly higher and with a bit of treatment over slow bass and guitar strumming and touches. Sometimes he sticks to a generally straight-up approach, as with the strums and soft chimes on "Had to Be" or the husked title track, making for a nice all-around blend. His sense of humor runs rampant throughout -- titling a wistful instrumental "A Little More Nothing" seems just right, without undercutting the music at all.

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