Jeffery Straker either has an old soul, or all my musical references are an indication of my age.
Either way, Straker’s brand- new cd North Star Falling has traces of some of the best piano-based singer/songwriters of the past 40 years, couched in his inimitable and effervescent style of folk/alt-pop influences.
Disclaimer: I go into this review already a big fan of Straker’s music. Be it the bang-on uplifting melody behind the New Orleans sounds on Slings & Arrows, or the warm, personal lyrics behind story songs like The Wonderful Mrs. Bell. Don’t even get me started on Oh God, I’m Cinderella – this man can write music and lyrics that stand up there with the best examples in his genre. He’s already been compared by reviewers to Elton John, Billy Joel, and Carole King.
Above all, Jeffery Straker conjures up the great Leon Russell in that combination he seems to excel at, marrying insightful lyrics to compelling melodies, which make you want to listen to his recordings over and over. North Star Falling is no exception, and indicates his continued growth as an accomplished artist.
Breaking down a few personal highlights from the disc (admittedly, personal taste may dictate your own), Calling It Quits laments the difficult decision to finally say no, with “this time, it’s for good”. Step Into The Fire is Straker’s sprawling Rufus Wainwright moment, filled with softness and cresting waves of grandeur.
I Wanna Go Back There evokes Eartha Kitt, or Peggy Lee at their sultriest. Nowhere Heart feels like early Beatles, while You Make Me Want To could be a John Lennon track. Above all though, for my money, Gravity is my new favourite Jeffery Straker song, which is an achievement in and of itself, given his catalogue.
As I mentioned earlier, either Straker has an old soul, or my references are in need of updating. That said, if you’ve ever seen Lady Gaga step out of her character and play some of her most amazing music, or heard album tracks from Christina Perri (whom Straker has opened for), his music is as current as it is classic. It’s that classic sound that makes these tracks broader in their appeal.
The lead-off single released on iTunes January 27th is Like It’s The Last One, an uplifting ode to ekeing everything you can out of life. Whatever you are able to eke out, at the very least it should include a copy of North Star Falling…
Check out the video for Like It’s The Last One here…
Visit Jeffery Straker online, and check out his albums on iTunes.