Independent jazz artist Allen Austin-Bishop released his new album, Why Go? Friday independently. His third album and fourth studio record overall, the 14-song presentation is an intriguing addition to this year’s field of new jazz albums. That is due in large part to its featured songs, which will be discussed shortly. The lyrical content featured throughout the album works with the record’s musical arrangements to make for at least a little more engagement and entertainment and will be examined a little later. The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered they make Why Go! a unique addition to this year’s field of new jazz and overall albums.
Why Go? is an interesting new offering from independent musician and performer Allen Austin-Bishop. The record’s interest comes in large part through its featured musical content. The musical content featured in this record is so important to examine because while the record is being marketed as a jazz presentation, the content is largely anything but jazz. The only real pure jazz presentation featured in the record comes late in its run in the form of his cover of Billie Holliday’s beloved classic, ‘Good Morning Heartache.” The melancholy composition, which is grounded in Austin-Bishop’s vocals and the even more gentle piano line is so rich in its simplicity. Austin-Bishop need not put much effort into his vocal delivery to make it so rich. It really serves as the record’s highest point. Other than that one moment, and the very poppy neo-folk styling of ‘Ring of Keys’ the majority of this record’s musical content is composed of arrangements that fuse his soul and jazz leanings together into one for a whole that will appeal to a very specific audience base. The whole makes the album overall worth hearing at least once.
While the musical arrangements featured in this record make for a stable foundation for its presentation, the lyrical content that accompanies those arrangements will make for their own engagement and entertainment for the noted audiences. The lyrical themes featured throughout the record largely center on the matter of relationships, love gained, and love lost. That includes the cover of ‘Good Morning Heartache.’ The only exception to that rule in this case comes late in the record’s run in the form of ‘Pass Me By.’ This song, though very jazzy and bluesy in its musical presentation, it comes across more as a sort of religious-themed presentation. It is a fun presentation in both aspects that is just as certain to entertain and engage audiences. When it and the rest of the quite familiar themes are considered together, the whole makes the record’s overall lyrical content just as appealing in whole as the record’s musical content. The two sides together ensure the noted audiences’ engagement even more.
The content that makes up the body of Why Go? does plenty to ensure audiences’ engagement and entertainment from the record’s opening to its end. It is just part of what makes the album appealing to the noted audiences. The sequencing of that content adds to the appeal in its own right. The laid back vibes of the record’s opener, ‘Do I Wanna Know’ starts the record off in a smooth fashion that incorporates some soul and hip-hop together for a work that is anything but jazz. The album’s relaxed mood continues on in the very next song, ‘Buffalo Ghost’ and the album’s title track. Things eventually pick up slightly in ‘You Get My love,’ but minimally at most. The smooth, relaxed energy exuded by the record’s first group of songs continues even in this case. Austin-Bishop keeps that mood moving even as things change again in ‘Memories,’ which comes just before the record’s midpoint. From there on through to the record’s end, the album’s energy remains relatively stable, ensuring listeners are left with a positive mood by the time the album ends. This even as the songs’ arrangements change in their stylistic approach. Simply put, it is clear in listening through the album that the sequencing of this record’s content ensures that the record’s songs present a positive general effect through that stable energy. When the positive general effect resulting from the record’s sequencing is considered with that of the album’s overall content, the whole makes Why Go? a record that will leave plenty of audiences asking about the album, ‘Why not?’
Why Go?, the latest studio recording from Allen Austin-Bishop, is a presentation that will appeal to a specific audience group. That is due in part to its musical content. While it is being marketed as a jazz album, the record’s musical content is largely anything but. Rather, there is more soul and hip-hop leaning in this record than jazz. That is not necessarily a bad thing, either. It just means that said content will appeal widely to fans of said genres. The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical arrangements makes for its own engagement because it is so familiar, and in turn accessible to the noted audiences. The sequencing of that content rounds out its most important elements. That is because it ensures the album’s energy remains stable throughout its body. Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the record’s presentation. All things considered they make the album a record that will have the noted audiences asking ‘Why not?’
Why Go? is available now. More information on the album is available along with all of Allen Austin-Bishop’s latest news at https://www.facebook.com/allen/austinbishop.
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