What does it sound like?:
Jamie Freeman is evangelical about Americana. He isn’t just a member of the Americana Music Association UK, he is also their designer and a dedicated volunteer. He has spent many thousands of hours practising his musicianship and writing songs. He organises gigs for Americana bands and is the MD for Angaleena Presley of The Pistol Annies when she tours Britain. He spends half his life in Nashville, playing, learning, supporting, even producing. The only thing he lacks is a beard. He is a man utterly in love with the music and totally committed to the cause.
Dreams About Falling is his third LP but his first for six years. He has exploited his connections to the full. It is well produced by Neilson Hubbard in Nashville. The songs are co-written with some of Americana’s best known: Michael Logan, Amy Tudor, Ben Glover, Brandy Zdan, Amy Speace and The Wild Ponies, Telisha & Doug Williams. The lyrical topics covered are worthy and suitably dour: the strain within personal relationships, the return home of a damaged Gulf War war veteran, the Grenville fire, the effects of having to cope with an alcoholic father, sibling rivalry and the pressure of living up to expectations. Add to that some quality, professional musicians and you have all the elements in place for a fine Americana album.
The trouble is Dreams About Falling is as beige as its sepia cover. His voice is fine enough but lacks a spark even with guest vocals from Presley and Zdan. The songs’ hooks and melodies fail to stick, despite multiple listens. This an album that spends a long time fishing under cold, grey skies and only catches sprats. It’s as though Freeman has sacrificed his own character to the genre he loves. If he harbours a desire to produce an outstanding artistic achievement or a commercial success, perhaps it’s time for him to look elsewhere for inspiration.
What does it all *mean*?
Dogged loyalty is to be admired but can often thwart ambition.
Goes well with…
A tattoo of an acoustic guitar on your forearm.
17th May 2019
Might suit people who like…
Americana. Those who love Americana as Freeman does will find much to enjoy on Dreams About Falling.