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by Samuel Barker
August 4, 2001

File Under: Rock/Folk
rating: A
tracks

1. Instead

2. Speed Bumps

3. Slow Down Good Times

4. On The Blink

5. Stompin The Fuse

6. Channel Changer

7. We Belong

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  • Abandon Jalopy
  • Some of you may know Brad Smith as a bass player for bands Blind Melon and Unified Theory, but few will expect what they hear when they pick up this CD from Abandon Jalopy.

    Abandon Jalopy is Smith's solo album. He plays nearly all parts on the CD and also does all the vocals. Produced by long time friend and fellow bandmate, Christopher Thorn, Smith has created a wonderful release. It combines a lot of sounds and paints a spectacular picture with each track.

    The album opens with the mellow accoustic track, "Instead." The sound of this track is infectuous. It's will definitely be stuck in your head for a while. Smith's vocals are amazing, it's not really a surprise after seeing him perform backup vocal duties live, but for the person who has never seen a live performance by any of this bands will be pleasantly surprised by the sound.

    "Speed Bumps" has a very experimental, early-Pink Floyd sound at times. The guitar riff in the song is very catchy. I personally couldn't get over how well the vocals blended into the album.

    The album also gives us an early incarnation of the Unified Theory track "California." In this recording it's titled "Slow Down Good Times."

    The album has a very biographical feel to it. The lyrics read like a tale of Smith's life. It's interesting to hear these stories as it is also fun to listen to such wonderful music. You can find stories about Smith's early life, the death of friend Shannon Hoon, and even a humourous love song to his wife, "She's An Original" which features the Squirrel Nut Zippers.

    I was very interested in hearing this album when I first heard about it, but I never expected to be blown away like I was when I heard this record. It's something that you NEED to pick up. It's available off the website and I'm sure you'll be able to find the cash to get it, because it will definitely grow to be a cornerstone of many peoples CD collection.

    Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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