Jape’s fourth album has been nominated for the Choice Music Prize. After the success of previous album Ritual (winner in 2008) would his latest measure up?
Jape is an exciting prospect live, Richie Egan generates an infectious atmosphere. Unfortunately it proves hard to replicate this on an album. He has gone very heavy on a keyboard-based sound this time out. There’s not a lot wrong with many of these songs, but that’s the problem. Tracks like Please Don’t Turn The Record Off, The Oldest Mind and Too Many People use the same sound palette, with little to distinguish between them. A lowpoint is One of Those Days That Just Feels So Long, featuring ill-advised vocal effects.
Much better is Borrowed Time With Peace, helped greatly by some nice acoustic guitar married to a rolling beat. The track just flows a lot more naturally than the rest of the material. Scorpio and You Make The Love are catchy, memorable tunes but fail to really ignite.
It was inevitable that Richie Egan would struggle to continue his meteoric progress of recent years. It is to be hoped that his activities with the Redneck Manifesto will help him rediscover his mojo or muse or whatever. And as for winning the Choice Prize? Someone else’s turn.