When I was about eight, I was made to audition for a school choir, just as everyone else in my class. The difference was that, unlike other kids, I was told to “leave the room and go play football or something” prior to making it to the the third word of the revolutionary evergreen “Through the Mountains and the Forests of Our Proud Land”. And my musical abilities only went downhill from there.
Now, here I am, forty and still more likely to carry an ox on my back than a tune, so what better task could I embark on than to review a CD?
The fact that I know nothing about music doesn’t mean that it’s not a huge part of my life. You know, not being an expert in the field never stopped people from having strong opinions on the matter. I love music, I’m just not smart enough to explain how or why a certain tune turns to be pleasant or not. I can’t even tell you in what musical category or subcategory a song that I just listened to belongs.
So, let’s get this out of the way quickly – I love the sound of James Geier’s new CD “God, the Others and Me”. Why? No clue. It’s comfortable, engaging at times, reassuring, relaxing and positive. It’s just – very nice. With such an expert description, you’d never have guessed that professional audio critic I’m not, right?
But — unlike the conclusion you might reach if you watch MTV or listen to the majority of the radio stations — there is more to a song than just a tune. To me, every good song is a journey, the one where you are taken on a path you knew not existed. It’s a story, a short odyssey into a mind of a gifted storyteller. It’s a trigger to temporarily escape the repetition path we pace day in and day out, it’s a calling to stop and smell the flowers, if you will.
For a stranger to sing the words that you’ll find engaging, you have to feel honesty and there is more self-honesty oozing out of the 13 songs on Geier’s album than you, I and your three best friends had courage to amass in our lifetimes. Let him sing you a story and you will feel love, hurt, insecurity and commitment and you will believe him. Let him sing you a story and if you listen carefully, you will hear that he is not singing about himself, but rather about you and your life.
I know diddley about music, but I know words and these are as good as you will find in a song. Try them and you might learn something about yourself you knew all the time, but you just couldn’t formulate as well as God, the Others and James Geier do.