With Idlewild on hiatus and vocalist Roddy Woomble leaning folk-ward on his solo work, guitarist Rod Jones stakes a claim to his band’s riff-heavy side by kicking his new project’s debut off with a bang—a big bang baby, oddly enough. Don’t let the uncharacteristic Stone Temple Pilots pile-drive and strut of opener “Do You Ever?” throw you off. The Birthday Suit’s next move is a slick segue into “Hope Me Home”, a gem of a duet with band member Jacqueline Irvine that ranks among Jones’ best work. From here, The Eleventh Hour plows along with a familiar intensity and melodic flavor, which should please most Idlewild fans, but also makes it suffer by comparison. Jones’ known strengths as a writer and guitarist work against him as a lead vocalist, as his limitations are put into sharpest relief against those songs that most resemble his work with Idlewild; it’s hard to not hear Woomble’s iconic delivery doing them greater justice. Notably, the highlights are those songs on which Jones breaks from template, like the string-laden ballad “They Say I Love You”, or those on which he shares the vocal spotlight with Irvine.
- "Do You Ever" Streaming
// Sound Affects
"The man whose songs were recorded by Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Ricky Skaggs, David Allan Coe, The Highwaymen, and countless others succumbs to time’s cruel cue that the only token of permanence we have to offer are the effects of shared moments and memories.READ the article