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Album Review: “Jypsi” by Jypsi

May 28, 2008

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.

 

1.5 Stars

 

Tracks:

  1. Now That’s All Right WIth Me
  2. I Do What I Want
  3. I Don’t Love You Like That
  4. You Don’t Know What Real Love Is
  5. Shame On Me
  6. Stray Dogs And Alley Cats
  7. House Of The Rising Sun
  8. Free
  9. First Thing On My Mind
  10. Kandi Kitchen
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12 Comments leave one →
  1. Earl permalink
    June 4, 2008 12:35 am

    “This group has been trying hard sence 1994 to make it big”

    This review is kicked of with ignorance followed by poor tatse.

    In 1994 the lead singer in this group was all of 2 years old. The rest of the group all under 10 years old.

    Not only does the reviewer lack knowledge of this group, music too seems to escape his/her grasp.

    This group signed due some of the greatest talent Nashville has ever seen.

    Amazing album. I purchased it the moment is was available.

  2. cowboybleau permalink*
    June 4, 2008 1:57 am

    The comment about 1994 was through a source who commented on the album.

    Other than that anything you have against the review I can respect and I do enjoy their new sound being introduced, however this album was not the way to do it.

  3. Earl permalink
    June 5, 2008 10:25 pm

    A nice thing about this group, is that they do not sound like typical country. It’s so nice to see a major label that is willing to try something different. What a blessing to hear somehting that is not the same ol’, same ol’. They actually have their own music style. Refreshing!

    One more nice thing about them is that their album actually includes them playing their instruments… almost unheard of at a major label. I suppose, because they are amazing pickers and fiddlers.

    The reason I bought the album is because their live show was phenomenal. Could hardly believe it when I was told the lead singer is 16 years. It’s amazing the way her voice fits each song so different, but appropriate. Not sure many other vocalist can find so many emotions. Unreal that a voice so young is so mature. She has a future that promises to shine.

    Here’s a nice read I just found.

    http://www.nashvillescene.com/Stories/Cover_Story/2008/05/22/Band_of_Jypsies/

  4. cowboybleau permalink*
    June 6, 2008 12:39 am

    I’ll be sure to check it out Earl. As I said they’re new sound is great, it’s different and it’s interesting. I looked up a vid of them on YouTube and it does look like their live shows are pretty good.

  5. welcomeMatt permalink
    June 25, 2008 10:57 pm

    Okay, I’m not normailly one to nitpick, but I will anyway:

    (1) The grammar in the review is worse than I would expect of my 7th-grade son.
    (2) How are we supposed to take seriously a music review written by someone who has no apparent knowledge of the song “House Of The Rising Sun” ?
    (3) Jypsi doesn’t suck. They’re GREAT, fashion choices aside.

    Check out their bluegrass show videos on YouTube from back in 2001 when the lead singer was just 11 and the guitar player 15. Quite a different look back then!

  6. cowboybleau permalink*
    June 26, 2008 12:14 am

    in response to welcome Matt, thanks for the comment. As far as grammer, I havn’t seen any issues, but I do commonly overlook the very simple issues when I’m updating, I will be sure to work on that.

    I respect and actually agree with your comment on “House Of The Rising Sun”. I knew little of the greatness behind the song before this review.

    And I never said they suck, I called them immature, but they don’t suck.

  7. fmartin permalink
    November 13, 2008 4:05 pm

    first, I know Jypsi very well and for a very long time.
    The album was produced by Blake Chancey, producer of the early enormously successful Dixie Chicks albums. Unfortunately, the album suggests a rather “unatural’ sound for Jypsi with few memorable momments. The Jypsi musicians are tremendously talented as we’ll all witness in due time (hopefully)
    ” 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.” … first of all, as a critic one needs to be capable of recognizing the difference between three and four part harmonies. In addition the harmonies displayed throughout the album are very tight and good and one would be hard pressed to match them. For further listening of Jypsi’s quite sophisticated harmonizing,check out their backup on Ronnie Milsaps “You Don’t Know My Love” on his recent “My Life” album.

  8. cowboybleau permalink*
    November 13, 2008 6:46 pm

    Fmartin, I understand wherre you’re coming from and, even though I’m still new at this, I have looked back on several of my reviews and I will be deleating this one in a few weeks when I clean out my less popular reviews. I opening admit that i approached this review quite poorly and was stained by outside influences. It was not my place to review this album.

  9. SamB permalink
    November 25, 2008 4:26 pm

    I wasn’t intending to comment on this, but now I feel I have to. Cowboybleau, you say what you want about the album, you’re a reviewer! People can disagree, but the personal comments made by some here are unwarranted. You should never feel that you can’t diss an album!

    I also makes no difference how much you ‘know’ about a group – you still know whether you like the music or not.

    For what it’s worth, I fully agree with you. This is a deeply average album, with hardly any stand-out tracks, the production is bland and the singing is flat and emotionless. The best song is, as you said, Shame On Me, which was better on Rachel Proctor’s album a couple of years ago. Generally here, the songs that aren’t originals are better.

    So, yeah, I agree. Not a great album by any stretch.

  10. cowboybleau permalink*
    November 25, 2008 11:17 pm

    Appreciate it Sam. I was thinking about just deleating it because it seemed no-one agreed with me and I was losing following. I had a lot to learn reviewing the album and i still do, but Idid give it another listen after my previous comment responding to FMartin and I have to say i still stand by my review. Love it all you want, no matter how many angles I’ve tried to look at it to agree with the masses here i still feel it deserves what i gave it. Appreciate the comment SamB, really do.

  11. SamB permalink
    November 29, 2008 3:10 pm

    Every blog and forum seems to have about 10 people who defend Jypsi to the death, I shouldn’t worry about it!

  12. June 6, 2009 4:42 am

    I am aquanted with all the group and can asure you that what they have recorded on the Arista label thus far is not what they would prefer to be recording. If they are ever given the freedom to choose and perform the songs their way,you will hear emotional heart wrenching as well as lighthearted and soul searching performances.This group uf kids has the tallent to do it all and do it all very well.

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