Jace Everett 'Mr. Good Times' Humphead

Since the success of Bad Things and subsequently working with Chuck Prophet a more confident and independent Jace Everett has emerged. This one owes more to the White Album than to the whitewash of country radio. There is little here that that format will find favour with and equally many who listened to his major label debut could foresee where he has come to now. There is much sonic experimentation here, guitars slip and slide over a solid rock beat. While Moog, synth bass, B3, Wurlitzer and other keyboards all add atmosphere. The focus here is the voice which has developed on from the darker tone of Bad Things. He has now refined, developed and delivered a more individual vocal presence that has menace as well as measure. The production by Everett and Greg Droman and, on some tracks, by Brad Jones is robust, rocking and rich in texture. Likewise the songs have dirt still attached and tell of modern times and morales. With titles like Business Is Booming, The Drugs Aren't Getting It Done, Angry Hostile Ugly and God Made You Mean tell of a real and harsh world. But Everett is also able to deliver a more reflective view as in the gentler Don't Look Down. The songs all but one solo are co-writes and several are with his very able guitarist Dan Cohen. The overall tone though is of a tougher stance with some distorted vocals, some distanced viewpoints and some undoubted attitude. On first listen I wasn't so sure but subsequent listens have revealed much and allowed the songs to breath and for them to insinuate themselves. The end result is arguably his best album to date but one that takes him a long way from the portals of Music Row and the comfortable costumes of contemporary country. So be aware that he may now be Mr. Good Times but he is still a bad thing and that's a good thing.