Putting The World To Rights

J. Marinelli

ORG Music, 2022


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


A punk-folk one-man band, J. Marinelli has made a lot of music in his life, first in the ’90s with the indie-punk darlings Samuel (who have recently reunited) and then with the louder Les Trois Malheures. On this new solo album, which was written and recorded at the height of the pandemic, Marinelli tracked all the instruments separately, a first for the troubadour.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The timeless, folk-friendly strumming of “Your Economy” starts the listen, where thumping drums and layered vocals add even more appeal to the harmonic yet rugged start. “Human Size” follows and is quite a bit busier and louder, and welcomes a scrappy rock’n’roll quality, and “Cilium Plank” follows with a playful, dance-floor-ready energy that’s jangly in a retro sort of way.

Entering the middle of the record, “Mostly Ghostly” comes with plenty of gritty melody alongside the furious drumming, while “Everything Begins” is very pretty but also firm in its creative and dynamic delivery. One of the album’s best, “What Columbus Wants” moves swiftly, with Marinelli's punk roots present and appreciated; this one might just get your toe tappin’ and your head bobbin’.

Deeper into the back half, “Dopamine Dealer” is thankfully another meticulous and tuneful but also bristling acoustic-fueled rocker, and “Worker And Parasite” exits the listen with a modern folk song that yields an anthemic presence in a Billy Bragg sort of way.

You might be reminded of legends like Guided By Voices, Billy Childish, Hank Williams or Daniel Johnston when listening to these 15 really great songs. Somewhere between lo-fi rock, mountain-esque folk sounds and the early days of punk, Marinelli is in any case a hell of a songwriter and plays many instruments fluidly. If you're not an unwavering fan after one spin of this record, I would be really surprised.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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