While this is Jack Tempchin’s sixth studio album, he is best remembered as a songwriter. “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and “Already Gone” by the Eagles; “You Belong To The City,” “Smuggler’s Blues” and “I Found Somebody” by Glenn Frey; “Slow Dancing” by Johnny Rivers; and many other quality songs have all sprung from the fertile mind of Jack Tempchin.
Songs is his latest studio album and consists of new tunes plus a cover of his own “Smuggler’s Blues.” Tempchin has a unique lower register voice that serves him well. Here he brings it to a new series of catchy, well structured songs which are lyrically excellent.
“Out In The Desert” is a superb song in the country/rock tradition. It features a harmonica, thumping bass, and some up-tempo guitar playing which all bring life to its catchy song structure. This is a song that was made for adult contemporary airplay as the melody stays with you.
“Something In The Image” is a love song of yearning that communicates through lyrical imagery. Tempchin wisely adds some background vocals which fills out the sound and pushes this song over the top.
“Waiting” is full throttle rock ‘n’ roll with crashing guitars and pounding drums. At times he pushes his voice toward a higher octave which allows him to sail above the instrumental track.
“It Could Have Been You and Me” is almost a saloon type song. A nice piano sound pushes the song along with some accordion in the background. It is a mid-tempo creation that just smoothly rolls along.
“Box Of Memories” is a poignant country/folk ballad with a viola as a support instrument. It features sensitive lyrics of someone watching another person looking through a box of love letters.
“East Of Eden” is a tune that almost begs for the harmonies of the Eagles. It contains beautiful lyrics with a simple structure that reminds me of “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” which is a good thing.
“Couch Rider” is a funny song with ominous country/cowboy music. It talks about living vicariously through your television set. It is certainly meaningful to all the couch potatoes out there.
Songs is an album of well crafted compositions presented by a talented songwriter who hopefully will receive some personal exposure as an artist. No doubt many of these songs will end up being covered by other artists. All in all, a very listenable album but it always comes back to the quality of the songs themselves.