Friday, April 14, 2006

Jimmy Barnes - Flesh & Wood (1994)

After his Soul Deep collection of covers of the soul songs which had inspired his career as a singer, Jimmy Barnes decided to take his music in yet another direction with 1994's Flesh and Wood. Comprised of a mixture of covers and original materials this album perhaps allows Barnes to show his vocal capabilities better than any of his previous albums ever had.

Not having to compete with amplified instruments it's much easier to hear and appreciate Barnes gritty soulful vocals. Whether it's Barnes own It Will Be Alright or his emotive cover of The Band's classic The Weight. These stripped down acoustic arrangements show the best of what Barnes was and is capable of.

When you toss in a duet with Joe Cocker (Guilty) and some guest spots with Aussie rock luminaries like Diesel, Tommy Emmanuel, and Archie Roach. The mix ends up being an even more well-rounded and a delightful treat.

This is the kind of CD you play when you're drinking alone with friends like Johnny Walker, Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, Jose Cuervo, or Captain Morgan. Dim the lights, take a sip of your poison of choice and savor the cocktail of music and alcohol on its slow burn through your insides.

From start to finish its got that hot humid rainy night, chirping cricket, bottle of single malt Scotch feel to it.

The performances are relaxed but not restrained and completely unpretentious and the vocals are some of Barnes' strongest. The only truly weak moment is his cover of Elvis Presley's Love Me Tender which neither adds nor takes away anything from the original performance making it an unoffensive, if not bland, cover.

Highlights include Barnes cover of the Cold Chisel classic Flame Trees, Ride the Night Away, and his stirring duet with Deborah Conway-- Let It Go.


Anonymous said...

I see your comments on blogs I visit so I thought I would stop by.

The CD sounds good. I would take the Jack Daniels with it. But it would have to be with Coke!

Perplexio said...

Mimi: I prefer 151 and Cokes but to each his/her own.

The best way to describe Barnes voice and style-- think of Brian Johnson of AC/DC doing more soul and blues material instead of heavy metal.

David Amulet said...

Didn't Jimmie Barnes sing with MIchael Hutchence on a song from a movie soundtrack in the late 80s? Something about "Gonna have a good time tonight, rock and roll music gonna play all night." It's on the edge of my memory ...

-- david

Perplexio said...

David: I'm not sure, but he may very well have. I was reading that he did perform a few live gigs with INXS after Hutchence died. And he did record the theme song to the 1986 movie Gung Ho (Working Class Man)-- so it wouldn't surprise me if he and Hutchence collaborated together at some point.

Anonymous said...

Just to add a really really late comment, barnes and Hutchence did that song as mentioned by david, as the theme for Lost Boys with Keifer Sutherland....great movie...great soundtrack. Barnes also did another song for that movie.