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Jak, Christopher: Applause Of The Rain

Like Freedy Johnston and Jeffrey Gaines before him, Christopher Jak may have just a little too much on the ball as a songwriter to ever really break it big, so much so that, listening to Applause Of The Rain, you find yourself conflicted, wondering whether you should play the record for friends or keep Jak all to yourself. Not that that's a bad problem to have.

With a voice that's at times reminiscent of Cat Stevens', Jak creates believable characters and often makes us believe the situations that they're caught up in. But don't let the word caught fool you, the characters here are never really in peril, something that is the record's one weak spot--you come to realize, after a while, that there's a lot of perfume and smiles without the emotional counterpoint of pungent sweat and seemingly endless tears. That said, it's hard not to find yourself taken by songs such as "Angel Like Me" (which wouldn't seem out of place on either a James Taylor or Lyle Lovett disc) or "What You're Thinking" (which some will try to catalogue as being influenced by Jimmy Buffett, despite it being better than anything Jimmy's ever done) and "This Time," a Neil Finn-inflected pean to new love, which may qualify as the most hard-hitting track here.

Applause Of The Rain is a good introduction to Christopher Jak, though there's at least one listener out there who's anxious to hear what happens when Jaks finally gets down on his knees and gets his hands dirty in the real grit of life.

Added: August 8th 2003
Reviewer: Jedd Beaudoin
Score:
Related Link: Christopher Zak's Website
Hits: 2348
Language: english

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