Indie Folk for Fans of Sweet Baby James

[rating:7.5/10]

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Fan of James Taylor? Yeah? Me, too… although my mother is a MUCH bigger fan than I. That said, if you like the singer-songwriter thing and are a fan of the folk tradition of storytelling, you’ll love Order’s Up by Jason Mundok & Living Fables. Country, folk, pop, obvious Celtic influences, and a ton of great songwriting… this is what you’ll find when you spend the mere $7.99 on Amazon or order a copy from Jason.

I listened to the CD several times and took notes on every track, but I am just going to highlight a few of my favorites, beginning with the opener, “I Don’t Need Your Lovin’”. A fun and playful breakup song is always a great way to open up an album. In fact, I am always of the belief that sending a strong middle finger to naysayers or exes is always a good way to start a record, ie. Ben Folds’ “One Angry Dwarf”. This track is the first place the listener gets to hear Mundok’s clever wordplay as he sings to his former lover, “There ain’t no more amore.” The song captures the audience with it upbeat sound, catchy hook, and melodic middle finger.

“Vital” is the third track and one of my favorites on the album. It has a the railroad riding type of beat that is prominent in some of my favorite country and alt-country tracks, as well as some great harmonies in the chorus. It’s the type of song that transports me to the train car, looking out the window as the tumbleweeds, blue skies, and playful, animal shaped clouds. “Thinking of the sun and how it has become vital to me, like you.” The song puts the past in its place as Mundok rides into the sunset happily ever after, “Past lives I remember, fading away”.

Another favorite of mine is the upbeat, “Where We Need”, opening with the line “I know a little about a lot, but I don’t know everything about anything at all”, displaying more of Mundok’s clever wordplay. The overall message of the song is about how our minds race and think about all types of things, when we actually have all we need right in front of us.

Another of my favorites, “Bye Bye Bye” is one of the most uplifting songs on the CD. It’s all about saying goodbye to the sadness in our lives. With lyrics about love being stronger than pain and bad thoughts eventually going away, the song has a clear and powerful message of hope. It’s another song that centers around Mundok’s theme of letting the past go and doing what you can to love life. “Everything that matters is happening right now.”

Other tracks impress me greatly, as well. “The Other Side” and “This Old Town” sound like they could come right off a James Taylor album. “Can I Take Your Order?” has guitar parts that could be straight off of a classical Spanish guitarist’s album (think Esteban without the cheese factor). Mundok and company even cover a Pink Floyd track to close out the CD (“Breathe”), and do a great job with it.

Overall a great release, especially for the singer-songwriter crowd. Jason Mundok & Living Fables follow the great indie folk tradition of Dave Bazan, Damien Jurado, and (my personal favorite) Denison Witmer, telling stories with music. Fans of 70’s pop-folk legends like Taylor, modern alt-country, traditional folk, Irish/Scottish singer-songwriters, and everything in between will find something they like on Order’s Up.

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~ by thepaintedman on June 10, 2009.

One Response to “Indie Folk for Fans of Sweet Baby James”

  1. […] Jason Mundok – The Other Side thepaintedman rates this: More enjoyable music from this Lancaster […]

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