“Optimisms”, by Jonathan Kimball, is an album that is as rich and deep as the ocean is blue and wide. With thick lyrical harmonies and dense musical styling coming from an array of analog instruments, “Optimisms” provides a warm and emotional experience that can please the most disinterested audiophile. From rock to blues to Americana, and even a slight hint of gospel or slave chanting, from start to finish, “Optimisms” provides a plethora of original lyrics, bars and measures, and ethos that is bound to please any listener on some level. This album can be as simple as being generally pleasing while you tap your foot along to the beat, or as emotionally overwhelming that it makes you cry like a little babe longing for its mother in the cold, windy night.
While the music stands on its own as an incredibly original composition, I would compared it to present day music of likes of Elliott Smith, Band of Horses and Fleet Foxes, possessing the same fantastic harmonies, compositions and guitar-oriented music. It also possess the same ethereal cathedral hall reverb, which sometime can be a bit much for my personal preference, but Jonathan manages to pull it off by interlacing multiple tracks of chorus and harmonies variations. For days of old, “Led Zepplin” and “Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young” might be lingering ghosts influencing the shape and sound of this music. However, with that said, these generalizations are all pigeon holes that do not do the album justice as it is truly a work of art in and of itself.
Regarding production value, the tracking and mastering preformed by sound engineer Pierre Fergusson at Foundry Studios in Seattle, Washington, is absolutely incredible. I had the pleasure of flying 2500 miles and visiting Pierre in his quaint studio that lies beneath the heartbeat of downtown Seattle. Pierre is truly a craftsman in his trade and has shown his skill through the completion of “Optimisms.”
Definitely a great find. So turn on, tune out, and enjoy!