[23 May 2007]
Touring with bands like The Be Good Tanyas and Jolie Holland has made JT & The Clouds come off like come rustic version of a Motown doo-wop group. At least that’s the way it is for the opening light and soulful “You Made of Lightning”, while “Jump Up Jump Up” has a breezier island Latin flavoring. However, there are some musical interludes like “Martial Art Not a Sport” and “The Slums of Navarone” which don’t quite go anywhere. The band is quite adept at changing gears and moods as they do so well on the hushed, barren “Cup of Codeine”, which sounds a bit like Mr. Presley. But it’s back to the party atmosphere with the groovy “Wildin’ Blues”. Other particular memorable tunes are the tango-tinged “Lover’s Prayer” and the plodding “Clouds Ain’t Heavy”, resembling a tamer Jon Spencer Blues Explosion or White Stripes. Even when the band opts for The Band-ish “Fine and Free” it is quite fine indeed.