Album Review: Luke Jackson – Fumes and Faith

Fumes and FaithLuke Jackson is a deeply prolific performer who has been working steadily for years travelling the length and breadth of the country to spread his incredible talents around whilst producing a steady stream of songs to keep his fans happy.

In jut a few weeks time we will have the pleasure of hearing this years release, a seven-track EP which is due out at the end of April with another following at the beginning of 2016. His work is tireless as he ceaselessly produces a flow of wondrous songs but the truth is that we’re still reeling from his incredible 2014 release Fumes and Faith.

Fumes and Faith is an album that no matter how many times it is heard it just never gets old. It skirts as close to perfection as any album ever can. It’s a combination of raucous, raw blues tunes that get your blood pumping hard in your chest and tender acoustic melodies that sooth you. With the inclusion of his pounding blues tunes his music is uplifting in the highest order but that doesn’t mean Jackson will miss the chance to play your heartstrings like his guitar. Opening with a grand tale of faith on a biblical scale, Sister sets the bar for his rough and ready blues tunes but this is promptly followed by the utterly heart-rending Father and Son, a simple acoustic track that is so tender and honest that it could break a heart of stone.

Jackson has a stunning gift as a wordsmith with a range of songs that delve into a variety of uncommon topics from tracking down a long lost mother to the mental harmony of today’s society. Fumes and Faith is a charmingly upbeat song that questions our reliance upon suspended reality while songs such as Answers Have Gone could be considered as casting aspersions on religion or karma as it perpetuates the idea that the good shall suffer while the bad get richer.

This is one of the various aspects that incorporates a very gospel-blues feeling into Jackson’s work and puts his voice to its best use. His is blessed with a voice that would never have been out of place in a bar in New Orleans; a rich, husky, smoky voice that sounds akin to a fine whisky. His vocals are also charmingly versatile as he’s adept at employing them both for his booming blues tunes and also for his tender acoustic lullabies such as Out of Time and Buried Dreams. His voice is audibly filled with an infectious emotion, deeply evocative and he pairs this with his touching lyrics to create a series of songs that can sooth your heart as well as break it.

This mixture between the touching and the uplifting is a large part of what makes this album so spectacular. Any time there is ever a risk of melancholia setting in it raises you up and wards it away whilst allowing the messages to sink in. It creates a perfect balance that allows you to emotionally invest yourself in his music without fear of walking away with tears in your eyes. Tender songs such as Charlie in the Big World Now and Down to the Sea are promptly followed by the likes of Ghost at the Crossroads, an awe-striking blues-rock tune calling on the ancient tales of men selling their souls at the devils crossroads for musical prowess.

Fumes and Faith is an album filled with stunning compositions that allow for both the minimalist musical styling’s that Jackson employs in his more tender moments and also for a rich collection of slide guitars and rousing drumbeats and bass lines that combine with his phenomenal vocals and amazing lyrics to create an album that takes you on an emotional rollercoaster whilst exposing you to some of the finest music you could hope to hear. It’s a truly wondrous album that allows Jackson to breathe life into everything he does best.

For more information on Luke Jackson, check out his website here:

http://lukepauljackson.com/

 

Joe Knipe

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