Sign up for newsletter


The Would-Be Plans – 2014 (Chief Injustice)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

Find it on Amazon

Subscribe to Country CD Reviews CD Reviews

CDs by Jimmer

The solo debut and first recordings in more than two decades from former Rave-Ups front man Jimmer Podrasky is a mix of alt.-country, folk, pop and rock. Podrasky kicks it off with the folk-pop of "The Far Left Side of You," which recalls the Velvet Underground's "Who Loves the Sun" with a chorus of "bah, bah, bah, bah." The moody "She Has Good Records" has similar pop refrains ("She likes to hear a tune with a poppy groove/It goes "la, la, la, la, la/But she can't hear me even though I scream/She goes 'la'").

Some of the stronger tracks are a trio of tunes that seem to question faith. The title track begins by observing how quickly time passes ("How could it be I'm so young yet so much older than I should be?"), then transitions to more spiritual reflections ("Where should I pray, if the church is just a fashion show on Sundays?" and "Why does God think he's watching a TV?/I wish he'd switch the channel on to me/You can bet I would let him"). The haunting "Empty" addresses religion more directly ("Faith is hard to come by now/Like winning the lottery/And I have had as much of God/As I think that he has had of me"). The country-rocker "Satellite" tells of turning to drugs for comfort ("Take me away to another plane/Faith is just a hangman's rope/You might think I've gone insane/But I saw God go up in smoke").

Other highlights are the pop ballad "With This Ring," which features an arrangement that recalls The Beatles' "And I Love Her," and "Molotov Moon," an effective reworking of a Rave-Ups b-side.

Podrasky is nicely supported throughout by bandmates Mitch Marine (producer, drums), Ted Russell Kamp (bass, mandolin, lap steel) and Brian Whelan (guitars, piano, accordion). Despite a 23-year hiatus from recording "The Would Be Plans" shows Jimmer Podrasky to be in top form.