Jimmy Gnecco

The Heart

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After three albums in which he employed the group name Ours, singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Gnecco releases his debut "solo" album with The Heart, for which he has written all the songs, played all the instruments, and sung all the vocals. "Over the years," he states in a sleeve note, "I have written many songs about the frustrations and pains of my childhood. I chose this time to sing about my appreciation of it." It's worth quoting this remark because, without it, the listener might have no idea that the theme of the album is Gnecco's appreciation of his childhood, even by reading the song lyrics that are printed on separate sheets of paper and included in a little packet. In song after song, Gnecco strums or delicately fingerpicks an acoustic guitar (the other instruments are minimal), over which he sings, usually in falsetto, ruminative and repetitive words in which a first-person narrator addresses himself to "you" in terms that seem far closer to expressions of frustration and pain than of appreciation, of childhood or anything else, for that matter. Things are not going well for this singer, who is continually fearful of being dragged down. What exactly it is that's bothering him is not at all clear, only that he is suffering. If there is any connection with childhood, it may be that much of the time, with that high voice, his self-obsession, and his tendency to repeat the same simple lines over and over, he often sounds like a whiney child. In any case, the result is extremely monotonous, which makes it difficult for the listener to care what the problem is, or whether there's any possible solution.

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