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Time the Conqueror
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Manufacturer: Inside Recordings
Average Customer Rating: Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5Average rating of 3.5/5

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Binding: Audio CD
EAN: 0696751809230
Label: Inside Recordings
Manufacturer: Inside Recordings
Number Of Discs: 1
Publisher: Inside Recordings
Release Date: 2008-09-23
Studio: Inside Recordings

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Editorial Reviews:

Browne's first studio release in six years. Recorded with his longtime band Kevin McCormick, Mark Goldenberg, Mauricio "Fritz" Lewak, and Jeff Young, along with two additional members, Chavonne Morris and Alethea Mills. Look for them on tour this fall.

Spotlight customer reviews:

Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: TIME Conquers Jackson Browne
Comment: Being my favorite male vocalist for over 30 years now, a new Jackson Browne album is always reason to celebrate. Even his weaker albums (for me, 1986's LIVES IN THE BALANCE and WORLD IN MOTION from 1989) were cool, mainly because we knew that, even if this latest release didn't quite float your boat, in roughly three years we would have another one to look forward to.
However, as the distance between releases has grown over the last decade and a half, so too have my expectations. If I have to wait anywhere from five to seven years between releases, well, it better be worth the wait! Sadly, that's not the case with TIME THE CONQUEROR, Browne's weakest album in almost two decades.
True, I don't hate it as much now as I did upon my first listen, but I still think Browne's voice has lost much of it's power, coming across flat and uninspired much of the time, while the production is, at best, hit-and-miss. Also, you KNOW you're in trouble when you're frequently outshined by your new back-up singers!
And then there are the songs, a rather uneven grab-bag of tunes. One of Browne's greatest gifts as a singer/songwriter has always been his sense of balance, his appreaciation for nuance. Early in his career, he found a way to beautifully blend the general with the specific. Later, he expertly juggled the personal with the political. Unfortunately, on TIME THE CONQUEROR, most of the personal tracks are rather generic and run-of-the-mill, while the political are exceedingly heavy-handed and in your face.
It all begins on a strong enough note, with the disc's three best tracks kicking things off. The CD opens with it's strong title cut, an easy-going look at time and it's ever-changing effects. Graced by one of Browne's stronger vocals, the lyrics dip and soar as they question and observe: "In my mind I'm certain: Nothing's certain yet." A nice way to get the ball rolling, the track both soothes and simmers.
"Off To Wonderland" finds Browne in an even deeper, more reflective mood. A lilting arrangement anchors this tale of youth, it's hopes and adventures, it's wild abandon and foibles, and, how, years later, it can all come rushing back at you. Lovely harmonies and intelligent lyrics (Love the line "Waiting there for Everyman!") help create the disc's best cut.
Almost as good is "The Drums Of War." A powerful lead vocal, a pulsating bassline, shimmering piano and the stunning backing vocals of Chavonne Morris and Alethea Mills (who some day could be on par with past greats Valerie Carter and Rosemary Butler!) all meld together to form a song that is equal parts politically charged and instantly tuneful. This is Browne at his balanced best. Brilliant!
Things start to go down hill from here. "The Arms Of Night" just kind of plods along, a sort of pseudo flamenco-grooved mid-tempo ballad that only goes to show that Browne shouldn't be attempting that falsetto high note anymore. Trying for atmospheric, it comes up empty and hollow.
And then there's "Where Were You"....more like "Where do I begin?!?" At nine+ minutes, the song is WAAAY too long, Jeff Young's harmony vocal is painfully annoying and the lyrics are something out of Protest Song 101. A writer of Browne's calibre should never be caught trying to peddle something so blatant or ill-conceived. A low point for both the disc and Browne's career.
"Going Down To Cuba" is a mixed bag. On the plus side, we have a relaxed lead vocal and an easy-going arrangement. On the down side, we have an overall contrived feeling to the track, resulting in a vibe that's forced and phony. Add a thinly veiled (and, once again, heavy-handed) political slant, and you have another song that's way below Browne's usual high standards.
"Giving That Heaven Away" has a nice, upbeat feel to it. Browne's lead vocal is sly and sexy, the harmonies sublime and the instrumentation spot-on. Toss in fun lyrics ("Seems like the whole world's at a fire sale/But I might be wrong/With all the home shopping/Bling bling and hip hopping/Maybe it's just going strong") and you have another winner!
"Live Nude Cabaret" is a somber, sad affair, but one that actually works. Browne is one of those rare artists who can take just such a melancholy tale and make it infinitely listenable. Jazz-inflected and hypnotic, this is classic Jackson Browne, and a cut that just keeps getting better and better with each listen.
There's an unadorned charm and sweetness to "Just Say Yeah" that's absolutely beguiling. In this ode to friendship that evolves into something more, the lead vocal is earnest, honest and real, while the arrangement is fresh and fun. The track lights up the disc, resulting in a cut that adds some real (and much needed) joy to things. An A- grade here!
Things take a 180 degree turn here, with TTC wrapping up on chilly, somber note. All of "Far From The Arms Of Heaven"'s intentions are in the right place, and the track does sport a nice lead vocal and smooth harmonies, but, once again, this is ultimately a heavy-handed track, lacking in balance and nuances. A writer of Browne's talent and stature should NEVER come across as trying so hard.
And, in the end, that's my biggest problem with TIME THE CONQUEROR....Jackson Browne's best material always flows effortlessly, and that's not the case on much of the material here. And in a year of a lot of so-so releases, it will cost him....this is really a 3 1/2 star album, but I'm rounding down (vs. up, which I usually do)....Browne can do so much better than this disc would leave you to believe. Here's hoping we don't have to wait another six years or so for him to prove that true. (As with all my reviews, I am giving the disc an extra half a star for including the lyrics).

Customer Rating: Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5
Summary: Time the Conqueror by Jackson Browne
Comment: Did not like it. Listened to it once and put it aside. I was so hoping he would go back to doing his old love ballads instead of political ones. I've been a fan for 30 years. I'm trying to be objective, but it just was not at all what I expected and was disappointing. I ordered two. My husband did not even open his!

Customer Rating: Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5Average rating of 2/5
Summary: He wrote better music in High School
Comment: Every artist that records in a studio ends up throwing out most of the songs they write. Evidently his new pals are telling Jackson that every single song he writes is worthy of being on a record. They aren't. No songwriter is that good.

So, we get a record filled mostly with those songs that should have been passed on, and not even enough of those. Too many suckups hanging around him, and too few of the old crowd...the guys and girls that got him to where he is.

As frustrating as the old record companies might have been, they did know how to tell an artist that the product wasn't good enough. Now with all these artists going to independent labels, or Walmart, they just have no one telling them the truth...that 80 percent of this record is crap.

I couldn't care less about the politics, as long as the music hooks me. None of this does. Listen to this cd and try to hum a single tune from it. It's not possible.

He needs to spend more time writing, and be honest with himself, and edit a group of songs down to what's really GOOD. Like he used to, when he answered to a record company exec. The Eagles had the same problem with their new record this year.

A song with dissonant melodies, and a whacky rhythm does not make a song deep or artistic. It often just makes it suck.


Customer Rating: Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5Average rating of 3/5
Summary: Time to give politics away
Comment: While it's true that no one does politics in song like JB, It can also be argued that he does love songs even better. Over the years Jackson has written some epic anti war and political songs - none better than 'Lives in the Balance' but hey enough is enough. George Dubya has almost run his race, why keep lamenting his actions right up to the bitter end. The sad thing is, that while Jackson is writing about his politics, we are missing out on the tender love songs and ballads which we know he can do so well. C'mon JB surely the creative juices haven't run out in that direction? Hopefully, when next you get back in the studio, we can hope for some more uplifting songs and a move away from the American political scene. Politics in song is so boring

Customer Rating: Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5Average rating of 4/5
Summary: Two notes of interest...
Comment: I do like JB's latest...after seeing him at the Universal Palace in NYC in 9/08, I got the CD and continued to enjoy the music.
I can't really add to what others have already written about the specifics...but two things stood out for me:
1) "Off of Wonderland" is off-key...I play along with my CDs, and the 2nd cut is off-key...it was most likely mixed badly...I didn't notice it with the other cuts
2) I miss David Lindley
Neither of the above should prevent any JB fans from listening to the CD...but they are both worth noting.

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