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CD Review: Jared Weiss - Isolated Thunderstorms (Independent - May 21, 2018)

CD Review:
Jared Weiss - Isolated Thunderstorms
(Independent - May 21, 2018)

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Listening to his polished tenor on this release, it's no surprise to find that Jared Weiss is a veteran of the Off-Broadway musical theatre scene both in his native Manhattan and in regional theatre, with a BMus in vocal performance from NYU.

The songs, all penned by Jared, feature clever lyrics, delivered in a smooth tenor that sounds effortless. Interesting harmonies and a variety of approaches showcase his talents with an underlying theme of personal reflection. From a media release,

"Isolated Thunderstorms is an auto-biographical confessional, born out of a life or death need to tell the truth. I threw away the love of my life because I was too sick to care. My mind was warped. I hit rock bottom. What choices did I make to get me to this place of isolation? I order to re-examine the tragic, macabre moments of my life, I first had to embrace them. I don't know if I understand them, but Isolated Thunderstorms is my response to my examination."

It sounds dark and desolate, but while the words may be revealing, the music covers a variety of genres. Isolated Thunderstorms, is a driving modern alt-rocker about creating your own piece of heaven. Annalu (from Monterrey) falls into classic acoustic guitar singer songwriter territory, with the easy facility that speaks of his background in musical theatre. The piano driven Get out of My Head sounds like it could have come from Broadway's latest must-see.

The production is polished, and Jared plays both electric and acoustic guitar, piano, and harmonica. He set out to make a folk album and ended up with something more rollicking - let's call it pop rock with an attention to vocals and lyrics that come from folk.

Can't Remember Your Name has an acoustic riff that's like the opening of Led Zeppelin's Ramble On, with added layers of percussion, piano, and a churchy organ - perhaps the folkiest of the tracks on the release, but still with an edge that takes it into rock territory. It's a standout track.

I'll be waiting in the park till the leaves turn grey, hoping you come back again
I'll be waiting in the park till the grey turns ashen, and my heart has found a friend
I'll be waiting in the park till the sky bleeds red, and blows the winter wind
I'll be waiting int he park till my mind grows dark, and I can't remember your name

Isolated Thunderstorms II sounds like it could be in a musical theatre production, bright and bouncy. Darling, Reni is a nod to Americana with a minimalist arrangement of acoustic guitar strumming and vocals, and a story about losing the girl. Elusive Particle is an interesting track that's more difficult to classify, with some passages of prog rock and a soft edge of singer/songwriter, the lyrics a poetic and abstract message of togetherness.

Track List:
1. Isolated Thunderstorms
2. Annalu (From Monterrey)
3. Get Out Of My Head
4. Not Everything That Dies Grows Old
5. Can't Remember Your Name
6. Isolated Thunderstorms II
7. Julia
8. Almost All Of Me
9. Saving Tomorrow (For You)
10. Darling, Reni
11. Elusive Particle

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