Jeffrey Nordstrom is a Canadian singer-songwriter based out of Chilliwack, British Columbia who recently released his debut album entitled Once and Over Again. For the last decade or so Nordstrom has dedicated what time he has away from his full-time job and responsibilities he has to his family to his music.
Nordstrom claims that “None of the songs have any connection to one another as I wrote most of them between 1999 and 2006” but after taking a listen the songs aren’t nearly as disparate as he claims. Nordstrom mixes electronic and organic elements into original compositions that at their most naked are pop. It took a little bit of time for me to warm up to Nordstrom but once I did I found inventive tonal palettes that were backed up by solid songwriting.
Once and Over Again opens up with “The Republic Theme” which has engaging music but is one of the weaker vocal performances. The music goes in unexpected places. It starts off upbeat with a funky bass line and electronic drums, which are covered in delayed guitar. At about two-minute mark guitars and what I believe are synths create alien-like white noise. It somehow works before going back into the dance-y verse. I enjoyed Nordstrom’s unique lyrics. He sings, “Yes, you belong to the people / To the eyes of every voyeur / You belong to our collective soul.”
I preferred his singing style on “Strangers.” He sounds a bit like David Bowie to my ears. The song is atmospheric and lush but also contained a tinge of ‘70s swag. As the album progresses it gets better. “Two Mirrors” is arguably the best vocal performance while “Breathe” is a soft sounding yet percussive heavy track.
Nordstrom has a great lead guitar sound on “How It Came To Be.” It’s fuzzy, crunchy and combines very well with his vocals. Nordstrom closes with an epic ten-minute track entitled “Five Highway Junction.” I thought Nordstrom would go all out reaching for epic heights but instead the track is rather subdued and loose. Nice twist on his part.
Overall, Once and Over Again is very good album with a number of exceptional songs. Recommended.
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