GARY LUCAS & JANN KLOSE – Stereopticon

Cosmic Trigger / The Orchard 2016

GARY LUCAS & JANN KLOSE – Stereopticon


Two angles, one vision, and an adventure for melodious mavericks exploring the inner life of an enlightened being.

Beyond the “Greetings From Tim Buckley” film that saw guitarist Lucas and vocalist Klose sharing a singular mindset, their collaboration could have gone many ways, but the artists stuck with a singer-songwriter formula while allowing extraneous styles, which make them special, seep in to embellish the acoustic flow. Still, as serious as Jann and Gary’s intimate missives are, one should not be fooled by a straight-faced front: it’s so easy to feel the two smile when “Mary Magdalene” picks up where “Mrs. Robinson” left off and “Nobody’s Talking” inverts a Fred Neil perennial in a nihilistic, modern-aggro manner. Yet the mood is prone to changing if only to reflect the very New York nature of the result.

That’s why “Fair Weather” sets the tone to the album by distilling rock ‘n’ roll to its delicate essentials and using handclaps as a skyward ladder as if to prepare the listener for “Well Of Loneliness” with its paradoxical merriment and the cynicism of “Jewel Julia” – sensations so typical for urban folk. No fancy six-string solos, no voice gymnastics this time, as the strum and the singing complement each other, although there’s muscularity in both on “Secret Wings” which, together with an emotional expletive, is revealing the stormy underbelly of the city and the beauty they try to embody. This may be the reason for alienation packed in “Walking And Talking” and for escapism of “Let No One Come Between Us” whose ebullient choruses dilute the gloomy pieces’ country blues.

Nor for nothing “Overture” is placed close to the end, instead of a start: such an energetic romance, topped with a wordless coda, comes on as a perfect finale to the all-round image of an intellectual stranded among the ordinary people – and enjoying that. So here’s a double vision of a single picture which resolves in a great trip.


March 23, 2016

Category(s): Reviews
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