Does anyone think of Tom Waits when looking at the cover art for Capacity To Change by Jamie R Hawkins? I did but I can’t say the music has much in common with Waits. Hawkins presents five acoustic based songs on Capacity To Change which feel quite optimistic and full of hope. His main arsenal is his guitar and vocals.
Hawkins opens with “Denial” which revolves around guitar, bass, vocals and light percussion. The lyrics sound like an anti-love song. He sings, “You never had me wondering, what's going on behind that smile / You didn't give me butterflies, and I never once fell into your eyes / I didn't realize what it means to be alive.” I thought the lyrics were quite refreshing in a world full of love songs that are full of cliches and tropes. The song also happens to be quite catchy. I can’t say the music was too out of the ordinary but it was certainly pleasant on the ears.
Up next is the title track which contains inspirational lyrics which are about the ability to change. He sings, “Don't dedicate yourself to fate, don't place your faith in destiny / Become the master of your past, don't be a slave to history / Treat every day like it's a lesson then, Tomorrow you'll be free, cos you were / Born with the Capacity To Change.”
“Come Undone” is a little more melancholy and reflective than the previous songs. Hawkins implements orchestral strings and it worked out quite well. The strings are subtle yet effective. “Keep Your Head On” is even more optimistic and hopeful sounding than “Capacity to Change”. The mandolin was a nice addition to this song.
Hawkins closes with “Hey!.. Where'd Everybody Go?!” which is a knee-slapping romp. If there is one song on this album that will make you want to dance it’s this one. Great closer.
Capacity To Change is a fluid EP with five solid songs. The songwriting is strong and the delivery is often exceptional. Recommended.
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