Jaymay - Autumn Fallin'

It's tough to know where to start a review of a record that I already promised would be good before I heard it. But fact of the matter is that although I've already written copious amounts of praise about Jaymay, I still don't feel as though I've done justice to my fondness for what it is that she does.

Autumn Fallin' is, for longtime fans of the bi-continental songstress, exactly what we've been waiting for: something to wave about in the air* as proof for any hold-out nonbelievers that we were right along.
I'm with another boy; he's asleep, I'm wide awake
And he tried to win my heart, but it's takin'...time
Whenever I try to introduce someone new to Jaymay, it's that line, from "Gray Or Blue," that I fixate upon. There's a paragraph of text in that pause. I'm not sure I've come across another song in my life that says so much in a breath. It kills me every time.

...He tried to win my heart but it's taken. No! It's taking time. You're losing me, slowly. You could have me if you came for me now. Later, you won't be able to. You're the one I really want, but I won't hang around forever...

Shit, she's good.

And she doesn't disappoint at all on this record. "Sycamore Down," "Ill Willed Person," and the title track are fresh evidence that the depth of the Sea Green, See Blue EP (where the Autumn Fallin' versions of "Gray Or Blue" and its own title track first appeared) was no fluke. Long-prognosticated studio versions of live favorites "Blue Skies" and "You Are The Only One I Love" -- like new haircuts on old friends -- take some getting used to, but in the end are just as lovable as their minimalist counterparts. These five songs are must-haves. You must have them.

Even still, Jaymay's lyrics, and the playful, lilting cadence with which she delivers them, aren't all that make her worthy of your undivided attention. There are also, for example, her playful arrangements that have only gotten more boisterous as recording capabilities have increased (she really wears her Dylan influence on her sleeve in the 10 mins of just-because-I-can oom-pah that make up "You'd Rather Run**") . Then there's the quirky scat/human-trumpet break that follows directly after in "Hard To Say". What's not to love?

Hell, you'll probably find ten things on the record that resonate with you that I've passed over. If I've convinced you to give it a listen at all, then I've done my job. And I hope when you do, you'll let me know. I reserve this level of evangelism for a precious few artists (cough), to whose music I feel a very personal affinity. Telling me you agree would be like handing me the last ice cream sandwich.

BTW, Jaymay's playing the Mercury Lounge on 12/12, right after (swear to God) some guy from Vertical Horizon. She can't be found in New York too often these days...you'd be a fool to miss her.

* Figuratively, of course, since you can't exactly wave .mp3s around in the air and who buys CDs anymore?
** I'm a big fan of Amazon's download service, that's why I keep linking there. No DRM, high quality mp3, etc. If it's not on eMusic, Amazon's the way to go for sure. But seriously, guys, $1.94 for a song? Sure, it's 9:51 long, but honestly...this is why variable pricing is bullshit.

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