Retail Sales

If you live in Adelaide, you can buy Jim's album from Big Star CDs & Records, in Rundle Street, City.

You can also buy the album from the Folk Trax outlet at the SA Folk Centre, located on the corner of George Street and South Road, Thebarton.

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American Dream is available online through FolkTrax (in Australia);
or through CDBABY (in the USA).

inFOLKus Magazine
American Dream CD Review

This review, written by Cecelia Hopkins, first appeared in the August 2005 issue of inFOLKus (the monthly magazine of the Folk Federation of South Australia), and is reprinted here in full with the kind permission of the FFSA).

Jim Lesses' new recording is packed with political and musical irony. Despite its title, the album is patriotically Australian, commencing with a drum roll, and fierce statement, We hate what you have done to this country. The first song, aptly entitled Stand and Defend continues with frequent attention to rhyme, (eg, lies and eyes, dreams and schemes, boards and rewards), and dramatic imagery such as crocodile tears for the fallen, and pawns in their games. Blended with Cuban rhythm, the result is a compelling drama of protest poetry and musical accompaniment.

The title track American Dream features the theme of poverty and describes a bank robbery. Liberty Café cleverly delivers a monotone description of a woman's flight from the drudgery of married life to the imprisonment of a dead end job. Bitter Wine explores the issue of revenge, and employs every nuance of rhythm, phrasing and para-rhyme. Shovel It In is a delightfully comic, irreverent celebration of the joys of gluttony.

Struggle Town represents the ironic inversion of Jim Morrison's Love Street, creating a song about a home town full of poverty, which the world would prefer to ignore. Who's Gonna Win? contains a number of wicked inversions of the Christmas spirit. Don't Sell Us Pipe Dreams takes the working class laborer into the unexpected territory of credit and unemployment, with a positive finale of advice to shoot for your own dreams.

In A Modern Chief Executive, Lesses presents a dramatic monologue (ala Robert Browning), in the polished tones of a classical radio announcer. The irony and humor also bring to mind the musings of Fagan in the musical production of Oliver.

Junk Yard Dog slows the jive rhythm to the sound of a pick-axe swing to create a laboring song in the tradition of Aussie bands such as Mental As Anything's Working For The Man. We Stand Together focuses on unity and creates a ditty for the union movement, while No Blood For Oil paints a picture of endless bleakness.

The Future Is Theirs is presented in a hip-hop come rap style on the official disk, but to my mind the effective dead-pan delivery of the bonus disk version is far more compelling. The Eleanor Rigby style track Heartache To Heartache from the bonus disk is also interesting; while the total body of bonus material demonstrates a variety of interpretations and rhythms including the electronic and instrumental. For more information and a listing of the poetic lyrics see: 

© Cecelia Hopkins, August 2005.


JIM LESSES: American Dream

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