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CD REVIEW: Tom Beaulieu, Jester's Festival
By Brett Thompson - 11/19/2004 - 01:22 PM EST

Artist: Tom Beaulieu
Album: Jester's Festival
CD Review: The bio that accompanied Jesterís Festival was a crumpled piece of A4 paper, off white and hand written to a quarter of the page and indeed having listened to the album, it speaks volumes as to what you can expect of Tom Beaulieu. What strikes you from first listen is Tomís vocal similarity to a young Willie Nelson, a twang that one immediately identifies with long straight hair, an unassuming headband, a guitar and a spirit closely affiliated with the countryside that inspires the music. This is a modest, humble, sincere collection of songs.

Though there is a lot of electronic experimentation on this album, Tom Beaulieuís voice is most definitely better suited to gentle, reflective, acoustic tracks. There is a genuine honesty in Tomís voice that is lost with heavy instrumentation and it is when this is kept to a minimum that the better tracks are realised. Jesterís festival stumbles at the blocks with the first two tracks drowned by an artificial, repetitive, electronic sound scape, however by track three, Your Eyes Say Yes, Tom finds the style his voice best suits and gently rolls with his lyrics as an effortlessly played guitar dances by his side. Similarly, in Jester Needs No One, this calming, natural sound shines through and highlights Tomís interesting, if somewhat familiar style.

I would like to see Tom Beaulieu put more thought into his lyrics and melodies and develop the gentler, lighter, earthy side of this record as it is this element that is waiting to be explored. Tired tracks can be stirred with the use of more challenging percussion and more experimental use of the acoustic guitar over the electric. Overall this record is a playable attempt at a soft rock slash country album, taking you somewhere slower for a while where you can smell the fresh air as a simpler world ambles by.

For further information on Tom Beaulieu log onto www.MVYRadio.com, Jesterís Festival is available through www.CDFreedom.com.


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