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Album Reviews

Jared Bill – Mystery Man

Jared Bill - Mystery Man

This thing has happened before. The moment short stories, then pulp magazines, and comic books began being published in magazines, there was no need to publish novels anymore. Not unless you really had something to say. The moment television started making series that could be watched by millions, there was no need to make the much more expensive full-length movies. Not unless you really had something to say. 

There’s greater artistry involved in painting a large canvas. But most artists simply don’t know what to fill it up with. And this is precisely why Jared Bill opts to put an album together. It’s the way they used to do it. And, if history is anything to go by, it’s what the future will remember, not TikTok-bait singles. 

Doing all of this wouldn’t work if you were an everyday performer. And this is why a bit of myth-building is essential here. The opening track, “The Jared Bill, Pt. 2,” positions of the country-rock musician as a would-be folk hero. 

In fact, most of the tracks on the release work on two ideas – pointing at authority and laughing at it. Thankfully, in enough countries around the world, comical criticism is still allowed. 

But being angry at the world at all times is counterintuitive, and Jared Bill knows it. He reminisces about being called a turkey baby, he knows his way around an Indian food menu as he explains on “Vindaloo,” and he’s no John Wilkes Booth, and thus he remains “The Man With No Middle Name.”

What does it all sound like, I hear you ask? Well, Ol’ Bill loves his country but doesn’t insist on making a spectacle of himself. Most songs feature folk-country acoustic guitar backing and are helped into existence by gentle slide and lead guitar and unintrusive drums. 

Is it poppy? Yes, places. “Corgi on the 2nd Floor” contains verses that bring to mind 90s alt-rock singles before switching back to country storytelling. And “Thompson Speedway” is a poppy family picture. 

Nothing would please Jared Bill more than becoming a legend. He’s certainly flirting with the myth of his own existence throughout the album. It takes all of the details, all of the stories of the tracks found on the album, to create an easy-enough-to-understand picture of where he’s been, where he’s going, and why he’s laughing all of the way.

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About author

Eduard Banulescu is a writer, blogger, and musician. As a content writer, Eduard has contributed to numerous websites and publications, including FootballCoin, Play2Earn, BeIN Crypto, Business2Community, NapoliSerieA, Extra Time Talk, Nitrogen Sports, Bavarian FootballWorks, etc. He has written a book about Nirvana, hosts a music podcasts, and writes weekly content about some of the best, new and old, alternative musicians. Eduard also runs and acts as editor-in-chief of the alternative rock music website Mr. Banulescu is also a musician, having played and recorded in various bands and as a solo artist.
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