Jamison Young - Shifting sands of a blue car - 2002


Jamison Young from Sydney, Australia, is a progressive singer/songwriter who on this album shows the ability to produce intimate, modest, but very atmospheric, sometimes hypnotizing songs. Basic arrangements of the songs are ''small'', but because of the choice of musical styles, instruments and (programmed) sounds the final effect is great, that is surprising and impressive.

On his 2002 debut album 'Shifting sands of a blue car' helping hands on this album come from many musicians, among which Peter Wells (programming, keyboards and bass), Mike Coen (guitar), Antonio Dixon (guitar and trumpet) and Tim Powles (drums) play a prominent role.


The album contains twelve songs in the style mentioned above, that is referred to as ''electro folk''. Next to the audio tracks it holds two video clips to be played on a computer, "Crush" (3:32) and "Cold world" (3:37). As the title implies "Crush" is a love song with a slow relaxed rhythm, nice (sampled) female choir and intimate vocals. "Cold world" (3:37) is rather dark and monotonous with a sort if ''jungle '' rhythm and some jazzy trumpet.

The first audio track "How far" (3:46) is actually one of the more exuberant pieces, with a pleasant rhythm and a nice arrangement with fine details. Atmospheric keyboards guide the vocals in "Memories child" (5:02) and "Top of the hill" (4:50). The rhythmic, repeating theme, ambient sounds and soft whispered vocals create an intriguing atmosphere in this piece, just as in track 9 "Steps beyond" (5:55). "Carry the world" (4:29) is a compelling, easy and more conventional song with a nice brass arrangement. We hear more trumpet in the following songs, like the cheerful Caribbean sounding "Soldiers of happiness" (3:18) and "Island" (4:57). The fascinating long final track "Walk the street" (8:20) has a solid modern rhythm, hypnotic bass play and surprising details like scratching.


The voice of Jamison lacks some dynamics and therefore chances are high that you get a little bored when listening to some of the songs on this album. Happily the original arrangements and sounds you hear in many of the songs are a good compensation for this shortcoming.

Although I am not a lover of the singer/songwriter type of music, I appreciate the originality of the music of Jamison Young. A fine album to play late at night to create a pleasant laid back atmosphere.

author - date - rating - label

Wim Verweij - February 2004 -   - Nautilus Music