Album Review: “Jypsi” by Jypsi
Arista Have really made a stretch in signing on the new band of siblings, Jypsi. This four piece family affair has had minimum chart success in their ability to advertise their own unique brand of country/bluegrass twang. Their debut project was released as a download at first and has finally hit store shelves. While this group has been trying hard sense 1994 to hit it big, their first album is less than promising with content as distorted and childish as the clothing they sport on the cover.
Included in the album is only one of the bands first two original singles. “Love Is A Drug”, released in 2007, is not in the album. However, “I Don’t Love You Like That” is. The single barely cracked the top 40 and introduced the totally unique sound that the band is trying to establish in the industry. Combining bluegrass twang with semi-traditional country sound the four siblings, led by sister Lillie Mae, attempt to pull off a song of letting go and trying to get the message through to an old flame that it’s over, with poor results. The production turns out to be too smooth and lacking much to spring interest in their full work. It lacks pretty much any emotion or real hook to advertise any real significance or point to any line in the lyric. It’s only credit is that is is a great representation of the feel for the rest of the album, it’s forgettable. The same ignorance of detail is present in most of the starting tracks of the project like “You Don’t Know What Real Love Is” which attempts to show a soft core ”in your face” attitude from the band, what there can possibly be of one. “I Do What I Want” is also poorly conceived as the four try terribly to pull off their version of what could be considered a teenage rebellion anthem. The progression and the presentation of the song are just an immature.
The longer the album lasts, however, the more they show of what probably got them their record deal. “Shame On Me” contains a mildly pleasing traditional country sound and begins with a surprisingly sophisticated harmony between the four. In addition it acts as a mildly hilarious farce towards the love between two people that actually brightens up the album a little bit. This slightly pleasing force continues into “Stray Dogs and Alley Cats” which has the only male member of the band, Frank, pulling off a more traditional take on the realistic life projected in Big & Rich’s “Between Raising Hell And Amazing Grace”.
I can’t help but feel, as I’m listening to this band, that they have become stained with their childhood antics in their music. Most of the soundtrack sounds very immature, family-safe, and under-produced. However, there are many grown-up aspects to the whole thing as well, such as the moralistic value that they attempt to add into some of their works. One song that shines is “House Of The Rising Sun” which is more like a poem set to music. All the same it is the first time the band’s attempts to combine bluegrass and country actually goes over well. It also serves as the bands most significant piece by tackling the issues of addictions and demons that can destroy a family, such as gambling. So there clearly is something hidden beneath the strange image and childish feel that these four put off. Sadly, they fail miserably to catch on enough to show it.
What could be the most impressive track is their instrumental, “Kandi Kitchen”, which shows off every aspect of their music from top to bottom. From rock style guitar to bluegrass mandolin, this band shows off that it can actually fit in slightly with today’s more modern music. However, it stands a little to late. The album starts off very weak with little emotion or real feeling of significance in any of the tracks. The end of the album finally shows a little bit of maturity and actual creativity in the songwriting that brings the album up a little bit, but far from enough to make it worth the time. Very few of the songs off this project are worth the listen, destroyed by means of poor writing, childish production, or lack of any real hook at all, and the ones that are are just too average to even tap the surface of perfection.
- Now That’s All Right WIth Me
- I Do What I Want
- I Don’t Love You Like That
- You Don’t Know What Real Love Is
- Shame On Me
- Stray Dogs And Alley Cats
- House Of The Rising Sun
- First Thing On My Mind
- Kandi Kitchen