I am still digesting this album but here are some of my thoughts to date, which of course are subject to change.
First off, this is an electric guitar based album, and it is meant to played loud. I find myself enjoying it more as the decibel level is raised.
As for the Ampexes, they are welcome breaks between the rock tracks. I do hear some of the "rock" tracks in some of the Ampexes, or should I say some of the Ampexes sound to be influenced by, or even alternative versions of some of the rock tracks.
I find this album to be very listenable from beginning to end, which is rare for me in general. So much so that I haven't reached for another cd for my commute in over a week. There may be a couple of songs that don't really do it for me, but most of them sound great. And they are growing on me more and more. Even the songs I know lyrically by heart are not growing old as there is always another musical bit to focus on which had escaped my detection on previous listenings.
I also think this is one of the most natural sounding Bill Nelson albums I have heard in a long long time, and I think this goes along with Bill saying it was too easy to make. Not sure exactly what I mean by that, but compared to other albums of his these songs just seem to flow right off of the guitar and out of his mouth, whereas I can hear more of a "forced" nature to songs as he moves away from the style on JTA. It is hard for me to explain, but maybe some will catch my drift. And maybe the songs aren't as complex as those in some of his other works, but complex by itself doesn't score points with me. It has to be a good tune.
A lot of the songs are just the right length...none are too long, and maybe a couple are too short! Wish "Tall Blue Days" was longer.
Not sure yet where I will place this cd in terms of an overall rating. That will be based on how many times I reach for it in the future. I have plenty of cds that are referred to as classic,etc. that I haven't played in years. How good can they be?
Do I want to see another JTA? Yes. Do I think Bill will do it? No. But if he could keep some of its flavor in future recordings I would be happy.
You know there was a sport I used to play (on a very amateur level) that I got good at, and for lack of a better phrase got a little bored with. I decided that I was going to start trying many other sports and did that for a few years, never really latching onto any of them. A few years ago I rediscovered that first sport. I play it whenever I can now and wish I had never stopped.