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Sunday, March 26, 2006

J. DiMenna - Awkward Buildings

I've been listening to J. DiMenna's debut release, Awkward Buildings, for over a month now. My intention was to write a review much closer to the time that I received the record, but the digestion period took much longer then anticipated. In all honesty I believe that to be a good thing.

It may not be too much of a stretch, but in an attempt to save face I'll compare my deliberative writing process to that which the album itself was created. The recording for Awkward Buildings started nearly three years ago in Asheville, NC. A wide range of musical accumpaniment was part of the project, including Theremin work by late great Bob Moog. The album was finished in Brooklyn and will officially hit the shelves this Tuesday via Exotic Recordings.

So all this time and what have I come up with? I've struggled with the genre bending, the mentioning of influences, and the "____ meets _____" talk (which I despise). But I can't help it. So here it is:

Elliott Smith, Archer Prewitt, and Jeff Buckley sitting in a cabaret having a drink with Leonard Cohen.

What else is there to say? The album shares pieces of Elliott Smith's Figure 8 era arrangements, but more whimsical and cabaret-y. The lyrics are sharp and haunting, going beyond personal relationships and confronting larger issues, such as society and politics. What I think I like the most about the album is the mystery that is J. DiMenna. An artist in the truest sense of the word, the nearly hour long album is strong and sincere, but with a level of complexity and depth that will beg the listener to place the disk back in the cd drive time and time again.

J. DiMenna at MySpace.

Purchase Awkward Buildings directly from Exotic Recordings.

J. DiMenna - Prayer Flag.mp3
J. Dimenna - Raggedy Ann.mp3
J. Dimenna - Better Walk Down.mp3

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