Jason Falkner - Necessity: The 4-Track Years

Jason Falkner
Necessity: The 4-Track Years
spinART Records

My interest in Jason Falkner’s music follows a path not unlike the timing of this latest release-roundabout. From unwittingly enjoying his contribution to the long-defunct band The Grays to finding out a little more about the fellow by reading through Eric Matthews’ liner notes to a full-blown fascination with the otherwise obscure songwriter’s solo albums and occasional 7" releases: I had little idea of what to expect when my roommate gave me this record as a gift. Was it to be the some kind of "greatest hits" or so-called "rarities" record, the likes of which are constantly released prematurely? Thankfully, no. A sucker for hooks and melodies, I was moved at first to tears, by the sheer beauty these pop songs possess. The more I listen to the record, the more I recognize Falkner’s genius-and genius in rock and roll, my friends, is indeed rare.

So, how do we recognize genius? When we are gently invited to stand in wonder at the paradox the work inspires in a person. And Necessity has plenty of paradox and inspiration to share with the public. Take the fact that all of the songs on this release have seemingly simple phrases and lyrics. Repeated listening yields the unforced emergence of a complex and subtle musical expression that doesn’t impose itself on you. Yet the simplicity remains! Falkner’s lyrics are playful (check out the Christopher Walken impression in "His Train") and exuberant, utterly elegant in appearance, but sublime in their meaning. What more can you ask for? Don’t even ask me to get into how well the songs are recorded. You say you want music, eh? Pick this up and get listening.