All Smiles – Oh For The Getting And Not Letting Go (Small Aisles)
Jim Fairchild sounds like a modest man. Going back to the basic sounds of Grandaddy despite their gritty rockabilly undertones, their music was clear cut while there has never been much flashiness to the songs themselves. Moving from Grandaddy to All Smiles, the modesty remained.
Now from a label to a self-released effort, Fairchild is at it again with Oh For The Getting And Not Letting Go. The sophomore effort is a straightforward rock and roll album with sparkling pop elements that stand out more than Fairchild himself. His strong suit is the melody. It stands out on “I Was Never The One” and shines out as being a super power throughout the album.
Have Underwater Moonlight stuck in your tape deck, spitting out lyrics in Beach Boys tongue that is the storytelling experience Fairchild weaves.
The charm of this album is the subtle use of strange and eclectic instruments, a theremin humming here, a single note of some percussive instrument there. It’s the punctuation to their gorgeous pop structure. And occasionally, you hear moments that stem from his Grandaddy days (“All You Are Is A Human Sir”).
The album expands all different directions, but despite the constants and key melodies, there is nothing that stands out from the whole of the album making any one instant noteworthy. However, you cannot listen to something like “Words Of Wisdom” and not feel a general sense of euphoria. Once again, a modest release from a modest man.
Love prevails. That is the dominant theme of this album as it gives a certain bravado for Fairchild.