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Jason Falkner | Necessity: The 4-Track Years (SpinART)
Some 2 years since his last album, 1999's Can You Still Feel?, the arrival of this collection of home recorded demos is a welcome stopgap. Currently without a deal since being dropped by Elektra - further proof, if any were needed, of the major's continued disregard for artists with genuine flair and imagination - Jason Falkner can soon be heard on the new Air album '10,000 Hz Legend, which will hopefully broaden his audience enough to get him the deal he deserves. Necessity features 12 tracks, the majority of which will already be familiar to Falkner completists, including as it does versions of several tracks from his acclaimed debut Presents Author Unknown (although the CYSF outtakes here are all offcial 'debuts'), as well as a few tracks that have either appeared on compilations or singles. Apart from some fairly rudimentary drumming, Falkner's early templates are more than mere sketches and even though they may lack the full sonic attack of the eventually released versions, his clever musicianship and warm vocal dexterity on the likes of Miracle Medicine and I Live are quite astounding. Belying the full title of the album, the opening track She's Not The Enemy - previously released on the second IPO compilation - is actually a 16-track recording and if he's happy to include tracks of this calibre on an intermediate release like this then he must have something very special in reserve for his next album proper. In the meantime though, an album of Jason Falkner demos is still more of a necessity than the theoretically finished works of many of his peers.

Geraint Jones
CWAS #8 - Summer 2001