Jamie Simond - Collage (2013)

Jamie Simond
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A collage is defined as “an artistic composition made of various materials (paper, cloth or wood) glued on a surface. A collage is a portable concept that can be applied to mediums other than visual art, and that is especially true of music.

Some listeners remain in their musical comfort zones. However, music people possess an ear that hears things in musical expression that escapes most listeners. That’s why an album such as Jamie Simond’s latest project draws from influences as diverse as R&B, folk, hip-hop and techno-dance. So it’s appropriate that Simond’s new project is titled Collage.

A collage is defined as “an artistic composition made of various materials (paper, cloth or wood) glued on a surface. A collage is a portable concept that can be applied to mediums other than visual art, and that is especially true of music.

Some listeners remain in their musical comfort zones. However, music people possess an ear that hears things in musical expression that escapes most listeners. That’s why an album such as Jamie Simond’s latest project draws from influences as diverse as R&B, folk, hip-hop and techno-dance. So it’s appropriate that Simond’s new project is titled Collage.

Still, Collage encapsulates the virtues and weaknesses of such a project. Simond was a member of the Soul Children of Chicago. That highly renowned group performed with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond, Gladys Knight and gospel legends such as Shirley Caesar and Fred Hammond. Simond learned a great deal, and it shows.  Simond puts all of his influences on the musical canvas, and sometimes it’s a bit too much. The techno influenced “I Need You” is an example where less would have been more as the rap inserted at song’s end does nothing to add to what came before.

“I Can’t Wait” is a much better statement of Simond’s connection to younger gospel fans. The main reason is that the track plays to Simond’s strengths as a vocalist who can use his voice to paint a picture. The picture painted on this contemporary R&B styled number is of a Christian anxious to get to church and offer the sacrifice of praise. Simonds shows a knack for writing catchy hooks and his use of auto tune works to place emphasis on the lyric.

Simond possesses the ability to make anthems that can work as religious and secular songs. An example of that is the excellent ballad “Leaving.” The track is a lyrical break-up letter that will minister to anyone leaving a bad relationship. Simond could be singing about breaking free of Satan’s bonds or escaping a manipulative or abusive relationship.

Collage shows that Simond will likely master any genre that becomes the center of his focus. Right now, he wants to explore several musical mediums, and that is fine. And while this project would have benefitted from a little more focus, Simond the artist will learn and grow from the experience of the chances he took in creating this collage. And, as a listener, it will be fun to go along for the ride. Recommended

By Howard Dukes

 
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