Jimi Tenor - Out Of Nowhere
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Jimi Tenor
Out Of Nowhere

Take what sounds like a white boy trying to imitate Prince, cross it with some electronic gadgetry, and add a sprinkle of Scandanavian humour. The resulting mixture is probably pretty damn close to what Jimi Tenor sounds like. Oh yeah, and throw in an almost 60 piece orchestra to boot. If you heard Tenor's last disc Organism and wondered whether he was going to get any stranger, your answer is "yes" and it's arrived in the form of Out Of Nowhere.

Mainly because of the orchestra, this is an album that feels cinematic in more ways that one. Not only does Tenor not even sing on several tracks, but the album goes all over the place in the course of 10 songs and just over 45 minutes. At some points it's spooky, while at other times it's just plain silly, but I guess that's what you get when an orchestra is placed at your disposal and you cram writing the compositions into very short periods of time.

The album opener and title track might as well land on a soundtrack at some point in the near future, as it runs through several different feels in a very short time span. It's like he's chopped up a score to a movie and thrown all the bits into a 4 minute track that goes from the droning of horns to piano solos to big string flourishes more than once. Things drop into a little more familiar territory (yet not too much) on the uber-trippy second track aptly titled "Hypnotic Drugstore." With tabla drums and sort of a middle eastern influence throughout the whole song, the cheese-master vocals on top of it by Tenor makes the whole thing seem like a cultural collision that actually makes some sense. After all, people are trying to get their swerve on all over the world and Jimi just wants to help them out.

The album gets a little wanky on the next couple tracks "Paint The Stars" and "Pylon." Although the orchestral touches are nice, they just don't go much of anywhere, unlike the fifth track, which is a solid support post right in the middle of the album. "Blood On Borscht" is five minutes of orchestral swells, wailing guitars, and ghostly choruses that simply rocks out. It's heavy metal orchestra craziness, and it's quite fun.

From there out, the album is kind of hit-or-miss. Things go orchestra/disco funk on "Spell" (If you still own a pair of bellbottoms, you'll be digging them out in no time), while squirrely horn sounds and light flutes float behind R+B style female vocals on the album closer "Call Of The Wild." In the end, it's a bit of a wild album even for Jimi Tenor. For every good track, there's one that wanders all over the place, as if he can't quite tell what to do with so many instruments. Either that, or it's just the album needed for a really short attention span.

rating: 6.2510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00