Posted on 16 January 2011 by Mylynda Guthrie
Posted on 27 September 2010 by Mylynda Guthrie
If a film were made of Ferraby Lionheart’s life, I feel as if he’d be played by Gene Kelly. Of course, this would involve Lionheart having been born generations ago, which he wasn’t, but Lionheart has a certain type of old Hollywood charm about him that makes you feel like, were you to encounter the troubadour, he’d probably hold the door open for you and offer you a jacket if you looked cold.
Jack of Hearts, Lionheart’s second full length album, cements his position as a thinking girl’s heartthrob, as it’s rife with lyrics that are heavy on romantic ideals and songs that would perfectly orchestrate a slow dance under the stars.
Vocally, Lionheart bears a strong similarity to producer-composer extraordinaire Jon Brion (who just so happened to help give Lionheart is big break a few years back) but musically, he couldn’t be further from Brion’s multi-layered, modern oddities. Jack of Hearts, despite it’s impeccable production, is a very organic album with a timeless quality. Lionheart shows his roots with pride, bringing forth an album of folk tinged alt-country that hits it’s stride early on and continues to be memorable through out. With Jack of Hearts, Lionheart has produced his most polished and cohesive album to date.
The album is perfectly bookended with “Holding Me Back” and “Minuteman,” both of which perfectly encapsulate what Lionheart is all about. However, it’s third track “Harry and the Bees” that really forces you to pay attention. With it’s twangy guitar and Lionheart’s signature romantic croon, “Harry and the Bees” is the type of song to have your last first kiss to. What can I say? Lionheart makes music for lovers and for people who want to fall in love. Never is that so evident as it is with Jack of Heart’s second to last song, “Drag Me ‘Round”. The song describes imperfect love to a tee with lyrics like “You kick me when I’m down; Who knew that you packed such a punch?” When Lionheart sings “I never want to get over it”, you never want him to get over it either because, quite simply, it sounds too beautiful to let go.
Of course, as with the rest of the album, Lionheart’s smooth and seductive voice is the true stand out here. Lionheart doesn’t sing. He croons. When was the last time you heard a good crooner? Lionheart’s ability to sing a well-crafted, melodically solid song with perfect pitch is the shining attribute of Jack of Hearts and after the closing notes of album ender “Minuteman,” you can’t help but feel Lionheart is at the only just start of a long and glorious career.
Ed note: check out other worthy writings by the kick-ars Amber Valentine on our fellow site in musical appreciation and spread-ation (it’s a word only here, only now) Radio Free Chicago, where Amber serves and directs as Editor in Chief.