John Jamieson
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John Jamieson

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"John Jamieson Review"

John Jamieson is a Toronto based musician who is releasing his first album as the lead singer. According to Jamieson’s website he combines “raw and groovy riffing reminiscent of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam with blues-tinged guitar solos, shimmering acoustic guitar passages and the occasional Floyd-ish psychedelic excursion.” I checked our his website (johnjamieson.ca), which has three songs on it and this is my opinion.
Production Quality: According to Jamieson’s website his music was engineered and produced by Sean Gugula, a Juno-nominated engineer. (SIDE NOTE: For those of you that don’t know, a Juno award is a Canadian award given to musicians or people in the music industry to acknowledge their artistic and technical achievements. So it sounds like a pretty big deal and don’t worry if you didn’t know about it because I had to look it up myself. Thank you Wikipedia! Anyways back to the music.) The production quality was very good. All the music was recorded very well my only complaint is in the first song I listened to, “Albatross.” I am not sure what was done with the vocals but it sounds like they were stacked or some sort of harmonizing tool was used. Although it can make vocals sound cool and give them depth in this song it make them sound off. I am not sure if it was done on purpose but it sounds like the vocals are not timed correctly, too close to be back up vocals but to far for stacking. It takes away from his voice and ultimately makes the entire song suffer.
Originality: So based on how he is described on his website I was hoping for a bit more originality. The songs are good but it sounds very similar to a lot of other stuff out there. I played his music for someone else and she compared him to 3 doors down so I played one of their songs and I would have to agree, sounds very similar. Like I have said in other reviews it is not necessarily a bad thing to sound like other bands. If you like who you are compared to then that could be an honor for you and if you want to hit big it probably helps to sound like someone else but this category is for originality and I didn’t think the music was very original.
Lyrical Ability: The lyrics in Jamieson’s songs were good. I didn’t hear anything profound that made me think or stuck with me in any special way but that is just me personally. His lyrics are good and others may see more in them than I do.
Technical Ability: Not a lot to say here. The music itself was good and produced well. I didn’t have any issues when it came to the instruments. From what I heard he is a talented musician.
Song Appeal: His songs were pretty good and I could see myself listening to them again. One thing I have to say is “Albatross” is lacking something. It doesn’t have a lyrical chorus at all, it just goes from what sounds like a bridge to a instrumental chorus and that was disappointing. The song sets you up to feel like there is going to be this awesome chorus where he is belting out something great, but then you are left with decent instrumentals. I would like to have seen something that makes me what to sing loud along with it but like I said I was left disappointed and unfulfilled.
Score:
16/25 (See full breakdown below)
I know that 16 doesn’t seem very good but it is one of the best scores I have given so far. What killed it for me was the originality and the problem I talked about in “Albatross” with the vocals and chorus. Overall I think he is a talented guy and I look forward to hearing more music from him. You can hear his music for yourself at http://johnjamieson.ca/audio/ . We would love to hear what you think. Also if you like what you hear go like his Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/johnjamiesonmusic) and Follow him on Twitter (https://twitter.com/JohnnyJamieson), he even has a youtube channel for all you voyeurs out there (http://www.youtube.com/user/johnjamiesonmusic/videos

Score Break Down:

Production quality: 4/5
Originality: 2/5
Lyrical Ability: 3/5
Technical Ability: 4/5
Song Appeal: 3/5

Written by Brian Peters, CEO, Above the Radio - Above.fm


Discography

4 songs currently released for streaming at www.johnjamieson.ca/EPK. Debut LP to be released this summer.

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Bio

"I'm really excited to get this material out there and build a larger audience," says Jamieson, "I feel like this is the strongest body of work I've written to date and it's very gratifying to perform it live."

Hailing from Kingston, Ontario, John Jamieson is bringing his own take on rock and roll to the Toronto music scene. Combining raw and groovy riffing reminiscent of Soundgarden and Pearl Jam with blues-tinged guitar solos, shimmering acoustic guitar passages and the occasional Floyd-ish psychedelic excursion, his music is catchy, dynamic and engaging.

Jamieson's forthcoming debut solo album "Loud and Clear" features an array of sounds, tones and hooks which demonstrate his mature approach to songwriting. Lyrical themes of determination and perseverance are explored with his rich vocal style. Juno-nominated engineer and producer Sean Gugula (Derek Miller with Double Trouble and Willie Nelson) is at the helm for the recordings and fans can look forward to guest appearances including two-time Central Canadian Bluegrass Fiddler of the Year, John Showman. Having also spent time in studio with world-renowned producer and recording engineer Nick Blagona (Deep Purple, The Police, Alexisonfire), Jamieson has a wealth of experience working in professional studio settings.

Through playing many shows in the downtown Toronto music scene in such venues as The Horseshoe Tavern, The Velvet Underground and Mitzi's Sister with previous acts, he has honed a high-energy stage persona over the years. "I think it's incredibly important that the audience sees and hears your passion for the music you play right from that first note of the first song. It's not good enough to just get up there and play your music - you have to put on a performance that people will remember."