Jimmy McGorman (Jamestown): The World is Falling
by H.notes Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org
waiting for some new Hanson music and with nothing to my liking really
happening on the mainstream music front - I decided to venture into the
indie music waters, which is really not my cuppa tea. I leave that to the
Of course I go to MySpace and I poke around a bit and I
stumble on Jimmy McGorman (Jamestown) and I read, "Jamestown is what they
call a 'radio song' band. Their music is a combination of English
influenced melodic pop and American rock and soul"
Well - having
read that, having heard one song with a fabulous chorus, a very
distinctive vocal and also being prodded a little bit by my friend, I
decided to do the unthinkable, and that is to order the CD. Because, you
Give me an up tempo pop/rock song with a hook and chorus that
sticks in your head and a lot of vocal and instrumental harmonies and rich
background layer of guitars, keys and drum beats in a rhythm that you
can't resist... and I will love you forever. Just think If Only or
No wonder I fell in love with this record on
first listen - there are a lot of songs are like that here. Especially
You Are Not Alone and the title song The World Is Falling
Down as well as All I Know. The last one has the most beautiful
bridge that builds up and breaks out into the final chorus and finishes
with a wonderful, longing, hooky vocal phrase. Pop at its
There are also a few really, really nice mid tempo ballads
(those are my favourite ones too!) and the best example is the almost
easy-listening Let's Not Fall In Love.
Then there is the
last track, the slow, rolling, You and I where Jimmy's dreamy vocal
just shines and which, strangely enough (despite what I said before) is my
Or is it California, with almost
Beatles-que beginning, which slowly builds up into a power
Maybe Do You Remember with a bass riff underlying
almost the whole song and the catchiest little hook?
fast-tempo Rebound with a distant guitar solo on the
The yearning Change or Here Is Now with that
It's really hard for me to decide. The whole
record just flows, from the first beat to the last bar. This is the first
record after This Time Around where I don't skip a track while
McGorman himself did the arrangements and the
production. It's rich and layered but never over the top, with dominating
piano chords and lots of backing vocals and harmonies. I assume all the
vocals are done by McGorman as well - since nobody else is
McGorman's vocal is a very distinctive one indeed.
Imagine John Mayer with more edge and twice the range where the high
register has a distant resemblance but the definitive sensibility of Mick
Hucknall (of Simply Red) especially during the ballads. But he can
carry a beautiful low register as well (The World... and Do You
Remember).He sings effortlessly and I imagine that will be all those
years of recording and touring, singing backup vocals to acts like Poison,
New Radicals (yeah Greg Alexander, guys!), Cher, Michelle Branch and in
the two last years - the Rockstar shows.
In summary, what I find so
amazing about McGorman's music and the lyrics is it's real and honest and
at the same time almost mysterious, full of quiet passion.
finish without a mention of the CD design. It's the cleverest one I have
seen in a long time.
It looks like a little black turntable record,
like you have one of those 45 rpm little deals and you've shrunk it a bit.
It even has track marks and a little red label in the middle. The mock
worn out cardboard jewel case just adds to the whole retro
And they said that the sleeve design art died with the demise
of the LPs!
Jimmy McGorman - Vocals, Piano,
Keys, Guitar and Bass
Jon Button - Bass
Dave Allen -
Emerson Swinford - Guitar
David Levita - Guitar
songs are written or co-written by Jimmy McGorman