ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT Close
BY KARLA HAYWARD
Special to The Telegram
Special to The Telegram
Jim Fidler has a lot to say. And listening is a real pleasure. From global warming to the psychological effects of television, Fidler’s got a firm stance well supported by real information, expressed succinctly and with enough humour to keep things interesting. So, obviously a new solo album is the perfect way for this talented musician to “get the message out,” as it were. “Revolution Time” is the Fidler’s latest creation and it’s definitely a return to his reggae roots. While the influences heard in each song vary from jazz to calypso, there’s a solid thematic thread that holds all together in perfect concert. “(I chose to title the album) ‘Revolution Time’ ‘cause that’s what it is,” says the artist. “I had a list of about 25 potential titles. ‘Wake Up’ was one. ‘Reality Time’ was another. But ‘Revolution Time,’ I thought, summed it up best. “I think if anyone were to really scratch their head, think, look around, open their eyes, open their ears, they’d realize it’s always revolution time. Whether they’re aware of it or not. Always, there are people working to achieve their goals, get whatever power they want, get whatever wealth they want. Just because you might be sitting on the beach with a blade of grass between your teeth or banging on a drum around the campfire, doesn’t mean that the lads up in the city aren’t rubbing their hands together and doing whatever. “Time goes in cycles, our lives go in cycles, and if we think in a linear fashion we don’t learn anything; everything we learn is left behind us. … It’s very simple: things go in cycles, so let’s try and get better each go ‘round.”
All that said, Fidler doesn’t define the album as protest music. He explains, “It’s a call to eyes, as opposed to a call to arms. Wake up! There’s so much in the world that people are missing because they’re just going to and from their jobs and sitting in front of their televisions. There’s a lot more to the world than that, and if you’re missing it, boy you’re missing a lot. And a lot of it ain’t so good, but a lot of it is absolutely wonderful.” Each song on the disc picks up an element of Fidler’s overall theme and runs with it. Take “Info War,” for instance. Fidler explains that the tune is about dialogue, about how we’re supposed to question the world, and our government.
“Mash It Up” is another great tune that’s all about people really taking part in their own lives.
“All we know we have for sure is this life. And we always talk and wonder and think about what it is. What is this life? What does it mean? Where do we come from? But all we know we have for sure is this life. It’s yours. The only thing you really, really have is you. So what are you going to do about it? So ‘Mash It Up’ is about participating in your own life,” Fidler elaborates.
Well-known for his multi-instrument abilities, Fidler figures he plays about 20 on this album. Asked just how many instruments he can actually play, he says, “I don’t know. It’s kind of like asking a carpenter how many tools he can use. It depends on what you need. And sometimes we make our tools, too.” Whether you’re a reggae regular or totally new to the culture, “Revolution Time” is almost certain to appeal. And it’s a fierce album to dance to.