Ian Jones – Results Not Typical (review)

Ian Jones – Results Not Typical (Thin Silver Records)

 Introductory full-length from Pacific Northwest singer/songwriter

The first thing that grabs you about the debut album from Seattle musician Ian Jones is how good it sounds.  Right away, you realize that this isn’t the standard, cobbled-together-on-Pro Tools affair.  There’s an airy feel and comfortable looseness that only comes from musicians playing in a room together (hence the album’s title, Results Not Typical).  

The next thing that hits you is Jones’ voice – it pulls you in, and sets you in the passenger seat for the ride that his songs take you on.  There’s a restless spirit to the eleven tracks here.  He doesn’t know where he’s going on “Rollin’,” but that’s the point – there’s freedom in that very fact.  He doesn’t want to ride on that “Lost Highway” any longer, instead saying, over and over to “let it go.”  

Many of these songs are imbued with wisdom that only comes from having lived through times, both good and bad. He’s brutally honest on “You Can’t,” where he acknowledges that we’d all like to take things back that we said…but, it’s not that easy.  On “Someday,” he gives this advice: “See you never know what might be coming / so you gotta say ‘I love you’ soon.”  

The entire album definitely has a cohesiveness, but there’s enough versatility to these tracks to keep things interesting.  The horns really propel the album’s first single, “Lost Highway,” while the strings and piano on “Athens Smiles” add a tension and release to yet another track about leaving home, and then returning again.

“Again” is sort of a Bonnie & Clyde tale where “the sun went down and we never looked back / we ditched the body ‘neath the railroad tracks” (sounds like the start of a great movie).  “Goodbyes Are the Hardest Words” wraps up this excellent album fittingly; there’s an echoey guitar solo that’s just soaked with longing near the end.

This is one of those albums that begs to played on a good pair of speakers because it just sounds that good.  The bass isn’t something that I usually pick out, but you can really hear it, and it really drives these tracks (played alternately by Gabe Noel and Jonathan Flaugher).  

Most debuts aren’t this confident. “Results Not Typical”?  Yes, and we’re grateful  —Tony Peters