Kicking at the Perfumed Air
The Jay Bennett Foundation
This posthumous release of Jay Bennett’s final album, Kicking at the Perfumed Air, comes to us courtesy of his family and friends, who brought Bennett’s production notes together to complete the project, and the good people at The Jay Bennett Foundation, who have released it as a free download (donations graciously accepted). Bennett, best known for his work with Wilco, has released a number of solo albums since his departure from his former band, and while most of them contain dark, haunting indie-blues songs spurred on my Bennett’s inner demons, Kicking at the Perfumed Air captures the songwriter in a lighter mood, incorporating a richer, multi-instrumental sound. I’d never describe Bennett’s songwriting as grandiose because it’s smothered in too much desperation and soul for that kind of label, but he comes close to reaching that watermark on a few songs here, including “Second Last Call,” “Hotel Song,” and “Invitation,” which boast an up-beat country flavour. Others, like “Footprints” and “When Heaven Held the World” draw you back into Jay’s lonely, broken universe like a midnight stroll through a dusty ghost town. Finally, I couldn’t think of a better way to end Bennett’s final album than with “Beer,” the quintessential ballad — funny, sad, poignant, and starkly beautiful. Bennett’s songwriting brilliance was remarkable and unmistakable, and now, like Elliott Smith and Cranford Nix before him, he’s gone. But, hopefully, not forgotten.
Listen to “Beer” from Kicking at the Perfumed Air!
Download Kicking at the Perfumed Air here!
Posted by Jeff on Aug 1 2010 in Reviews
Tags: ballad, beer, blues, Broken, country, Cranford Nix, dark, demons, desperation, Dusty, Elliott Smith, Footprints, ghost town, grandiose, haunting, Hotel Song, indie, Invitation, Jay Bennett, Kicking at the Perfumed Air, lighter, lonely, multi-instrumental, posthumous, Second Last Call, singer, songwriter, soul, The Jay Bennett Foundation, When Heaven Held the World, Wilco