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Jimmy Crouse - "It Stands To Reason Why" album review

I talked about Jimmy Crouse a little while ago, having discovered the mysterious singer-songwriter through an album of robot musick. Last month, I got an email about a new album. That album is It Stands To Reason Why. It came out a little over a month ago on March 16th, though the songs are decades old. It's a perfect album for this continuing winter into semi-spring.

The cover art leaves me feeling many things. It's plain. Presumably, it's a picture of the man himself. That fits the style, the nothing-held-back rawness of the songs that I have come to know him for. However, the image spoils the mystery for me of the unknown voice from somewhere within the internet, this fulfilling a long-held desire for unknown and uncelebrated art that I had in high school. The robot album that I found this through met that need too. The rawness of the cover wins out over the anti-mystery a bit though. The mystery is in my head, but I'm not sure that it's anything intended by the artist.

The first track on It Stands To Reason Why is "Horse Sense", a song that repeats the title as a point to jump from into some harsh realm. The rhyming scheme is clever, and the guitar floats over the grounded ghostly vocals like some patchwork skyship that shouldn't fly but does a great job. The dilapidated song ends abruptly after a sequence of wriggling down. The writhing vocals, warbling into the monochrome scene of "Crow", made my eyes open in amazement. Again this song uses a phrase repeatedly with long drawn out singing, some wail in the bleak dawn. I'm not exactly sure what it means, but it surely is a beautiful thing. "The Fat of the Land" uses the phrase "cradle to grave" in its various mutations with the titular phrase silencing the somewhat angelic, but still earthy, song when it arrives by carriage. From this song, I get a story of people working to make ends meet over time. It's not presented in a cliche way though, this one almost hopeful. I feel like I won't fail if I try, if I keep trying, if the world one day falls out of the pair of hands that deals a fatal hand to the "unworthy" those who have not. I've been worried about this recently, but I know it in my hear to be true to keep on fighting and never give up.

The last two songs are "Gravy" and "Regular". I felt very emotional from that last one, so here I had to listen to "Gravy" a bit longer to really hear it right. It's over in short moment despite the cooking time for such a recipe. Again, it's about waiting for what will come. There's a harsh edge in Crouse's vocals on this one. "Further what will may be later come the gravy for all of this and more". Another abrupt end means, to me, the assuredness of the words, the message, the tone, the true strike on the Earth of a thunderbolt. "Regular" doesn't use a phrase repeated as much. There's a lot at play here, a true poem. Feces is going out and coming in and fertilizing the ground while the singer is soiled. It's such brilliant wordplay for such a gritty and gross subject. Such is.

It Stands To Reason Why is a true masterpiece of cyclical, clever wordplay and lo-fidelity folk. The production is perfect; you can hear the sounds of the room under the warbling voice and the bare guitar. Nothing is pushed far into oblivion, sounds bursting brains with falsehoods (sometimes those are okay). That production works with these brilliant songs that lack complex nothings but are deep as a night's ocean. I love that each one more or less has a repeated phrase used as a springboard to further ideas. This is true beauty and brilliance. It Stands To Reason Why receives a Good.