Randall Kirk Jones has been recording in his home studio since 2013. In 2018, Jones released All the Wonderful and Horrific. A ride through human existence, it is an album that keeps a listener on edge finding new instruments in the back. It was recorded in various home-studios and rehearsal spaces around Denton, Texas. Jones composed the music for the entire album, and he is sometimes joined by guest musicians over the course of the album.
“A Jagged Rock More Gentle” is a heartfelt musing. Is there a way to make things that are not easy to deal with easier? The narrator distracts themselves with their surroundings. However the surroundings of the song’s atmosphere are filled with welcome distractions of their own. Creeping synthesizer lines, saxophones, harmonic choruses and auxiliary percussion show up at well-timed intervals.
“Truth in a Meaningless Phrase” includes more synthesizers, as well as introspective lyrics, and a wandering guitar that fades in and out as the sections change. Each change is more fitting than the last. All The Wonderful and Horrific closes with “Christ, This is Just The Beginning.” This one runs longer than the others, but the payoff is big. Not a single second of its nine minute-and-47-second running time is unnecessary.
All the Wonderful and Horrific carries elements of artists like Neutral Milk Hotel, Mumford & Sons, Trampled By Turtles, Deadman Winter, Dan Potthast and Vampire Weekend. The lyrics are self-aware. This makes them incredibly introspective.
There are points on All the Wonderful and Horrific that should be seen as a monologue for the narrator instead of words to a song. It’s exciting and thought-provoking. It’s also an album that doesn’t require a serious listen. You can sit and listen to it without having to dissect every line in every song. All the Wonderful and Horrific is an album that will appeal to listeners seeking an upbeat yet easy- going set of tracks.
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