Jon Lock used to play bass in a jazz band before he picked up a guitar and started singing. Some of his recent progress has been recorded on his recent release Cooked With Curry. Cooked With Curry is a complete DIY effort that is unequivocally lo-fi. I’d be lying if I said I was completely happy with the recording quality. There are a good amount of things a proper studio could have cleaned up but overall the songwriting still shines.
Lock is an artist who churns out songs rather fast. In all honesty as a songwriter myself I’m not sure how he has such a fast turnaround. Lock mentions “I generally write, perform and rough mix a track in one day.” That concept is unknown to me simply for the fact that I can work months on end for a song.
There are fourteen songs on this album which is quite a lot and I enjoyed the majority of them. He opens with “Cut Me a Little Slack” which has a bit of a Roy Orbison vibe. Lyrically, it’s a pretty straight forward love song. He sings “Every time I see your face / I feel my heart race / I can't believe I got the luck / To get in your good grace.”
“This Is it” is basically Reggae. The song was begging for some kind of lead instrument or vocal. Yes, there is some lead guitar but it only made it’s appearance on occasion. I really wasn’t sure what to expect after this rather abrupt change in style from the first to the second song. “Outshines Your Grace” has a little more of that ’60s singer/songwriter vibe while “Seething” takes advantage of a lead guitar but veers more towards cosmic territory a la Pink Floyd.
“King Arthur's Lament” is a solo acoustic song that sounds like nothing that came before while “Cut Me a Little Slack” is a bit dissonant sounding while simultaneously being catchy. Up next is the jazzy lounge song “Holtsville Reel” which is another song that feels like a complete departure from anything else. Lock continues to experiment with one-off style songs such as the instrumental “Mellow Sun” or the waltz “Laurent Proy.”
I can’t say these songs feel cohesive. Cooked with Curry feels much more like a collection of songs than an album with a beginning and an end. Once I approached the album in that way I was able to appreciate it a little more. At the very least this is an album that may have something for everyone; you just may to do a little digging to find your favorite songs.
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