Monday, August 21, 2017

Marti Jones-Used Guitars (1988)


Whether they're used, borrowed, rented, built from scratch or brand new, guitars always make for an appealing music-listening affair, especially when the lovely voice of singer Marti Jones is singing along with them. I thought now would be a perfect juncture to share Marti's final 80's album in a third "Music Spectrum" feature presentation, considering that I'm still infected with the rock music bug. Besides that, a Marti Jones fan and blog follower helped to remind me about "Used Guitars", which I now see has become quite the rarity in the folk rock genre. I could pick any one of the eleven songs here and have wonderful things to say about it, no matter how big or how small. The opener called "Tourist Town" charms me because of the light pop/rock rhythm and the colorful imagery painted by the lyrics (being tempted to hide away in a town and having her sights set on the lights). "The Real One" has a touching, bittersweet taste to it, because it talks about not letting a special lady slip away (or, in Marti's words, the Mona Lisa, which she gives reference to when she sings 'smiling like Mona Lisas' early in the song. Once again, we have a song that has aged well over time because it totally sounds like something that could've been recorded in another era: "Ruby". And once again, it's one of those slow-and-sensual piano jazz tunes I like that swing and sway every so gracefully with the smoky voice of a soulful lady leading the way. Love how the music rises and climaxes in the grand final movement, and that by itself is enough to make this one a real gem! Humorous moments arise on both "Twisted Vines", which begins with a funny story about her meeting a guy in a cemetery, "I Don't Want Him (Anymore)", which begins in similar fashion with the silly dialogue. But once the laughs are over, Marti delivers a pair of seriously good tunes, with the former having a very cool, funky pop beat and a great energetic hook (it reminds me of Sherry Kean's "People Talk"; if you haven't heard this song, I highly recommend it!) while the latter features a guest male vocalist performing alongside her and has both the best hook and this album's best musical arrangement (at least I had been instantly captivated by it when I tuned in the first time). Charming me like "Tourist Town" did are "Back Of The Line" and the lively rockin' "Each Time" (a fun song about being a fool for love and constantly going back to your lover when those tempting promises of love you better than before are irresistible). Then there's something exquisitely delightful about "You Can't Take Love For Granted"; it must be the way her voice gracefully sings the title lyrics and the words of the chorus, plus the acapella break at the end with the whispered alternating voices of the men and women in the background. And as you'd expect after enjoying a flurry of guitar-driven selections in the first thirty or so minutes, closing out this easy-listening affair is the intimate acoustic piece, "If I Can Love Somebody". Well Marti definitely puts her guitar to excellent use on all of these songs.....just as I'm sure you and your ears will put this entire "Used Guitars" album to good use:

1. Tourist Town
2. Wind In The Trees
3. The Real One
4. Ruby
5. Back Of The Line
6. Twisted Vines
7. Keep Me In The Dark
8. You Can't Take Love For Granted
9. I Don't Want Him (Anymore)
10. Each Time
11. If I Can Love Somebody

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