Hurry up. Thats the gist of JD McPhersons second solo album, Let the Good Times Roll. The 11-track sophomore solo effort from this Oklahoma native clocks in at 36 minutes.
And youll want to play every second of it.
McPherson co-produced Let the Good Times Roll with Mark Neill. (Neill has produced music for The Black Keys, Taddy Porter, The Computers, Deke Dickerson and Old 97's, among others).
As with any eye-pleasing artwork or design piece, here, McPherson knows when to rock hard and when to whisper (sometimes simultaneously) and how to create an aural center of interest.
Let the Good Times Roll is a study in balance and musicianship. Its also an album designed to be heard in track-by-track progression.
What struck me about It Shook Me Up is the way it ends. The song features McPhersons rock n roll wail slowly fading in prominence as his bands trademark, high-end piano marks time. Many artists and producers would blast that moment. Many would also repeat it several times throughout the song. Hell, its killer. However, McPherson and Neill dont. Its an aurally engaging editing technique that pulled this listener into the albums following track.
In Head Over Heels, warm, low, uncomplicated, repetitive guitar riffs and high-end, Jerry Lee Lewis-inspired piano chords staccato, driving and powerful but not overpowering are layered with rapid hand-claps and wooo-oooos. It all blends to complement McPhersons energetic vocals.
Like taking a picture using fully manual settings on tactile film and processing it in a cramped darkroom, he recorded this album with an astute knowledge of framing, depth and perspective. It's recorded correctly. Musicians used analog equipment whenever possible. It's played immaculately. Its message and power is deliberately revealed to the listener in the time it takes to gently immerse a series of photos in developer and then in stop-bath once the images become clear and sharp.
And I dont care if you dont know about how to develop photos. Look it up. Try it. McPherson often tells people to find the music you like and listen to it. But you cant stop there. You research the bands influences and then go one step farther and find out who influences those influences.
Similarly, this philosophy defines his music-making style. Youll hear old-school keyboard, piano, horns and/or thrumming stand-up bass in songs like the title track and Mother of Lies and Its All Over but the Shouting, but this isnt rockabilly. McPhersons ability to turn a phrase doesnt make this Delta blues. Its hand-claps dont make it pop. It isnt Americana. It isnt retro-rock.
Let the Good Times Roll is pure, thoroughly modern rock n roll.
Stream it in full on Spotify (below) or buy the vinyl or CD at your local record store or McPherson's official website, jdmcpherson.com.