Two years on from the debut, Jamie Lee’s torturous yet confident self-expression is still evident on the second offering, ‘Suicide Songs’.
Similarly to ‘The Shadow Of Heaven’, this album shimmers with transparency. It feels glass-like, fragile and reflective. Money’s sonic palette comprises of this beautiful cavernous reverb upon seemingly delicate tones, which spring with dynamic, creating no need for distorted sounds – emotionally, it can be aggressive enough in its delivery. This well-crafted tone gives way for Lee to spill his heart through abstract poetry.
Lee has always described himself as more of a writer than that of a musician at heart – the music is merely a vehicle to his lyrical expression. And one reoccurring theme in his words seems to be religion. He tackles the subject immediately with the aptly-named opener, ‘I Am The Lord’. We initially notice a further development in the breadth of sounds that they’ve used on this record, which sees more acoustic instruments introduced, with an Indian dilruba creating a leitmotif across a drone of strings.
Further into the record, one admirable change with this album is the seemingly accidental (but intentionally left in) clumsy openings to some pieces; the charming tune ups on tracks like ‘I’m Not Here’ and ‘Night Came’ remind us ultimately of the band’s human side. However, within minutes they still transform and journey to the tender and barren plains of their hymn-like ballads, leading you blind into the centre of their universe. Again.
Jamie Lee and his band still hold their dignified signature sound with ‘Suicide Songs’, which has handsomely progressed since their last record. Whether or not Lee is emotionally stable within his tempestuous and impassioned outpourings is still questionable… But he remains poignant when displaying his imagery against the rich backdrop of the band.
Money have graciously emerged from the shadow of heaven and are closer to the light, standing proudly on the panoramic edge, looking skyward.
Money – ‘Suicide Songs’
Out Jan 29th on Bella Union
Words by Jack Stevens