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Monday, Sept. 27, 2010

Jay Flash

Know, Alone

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The jacket notes on Milwaukee avant-folkie Jay Flash’s third album mingle dissatisfaction with glimmers of hope. His lyrics reflect the same. However, Flash may want to keep in mind that, per the examples of Billy Bragg, songs where the political is subsumed into the personal generally have greater staying power than protest signs and position papers set to melodies.

Nonetheless, Flash’s melodies and arrangements are getting more impressive with every release, encompassing bluesy acoustic guitar, nimble solo piano and systemic electronic classical akin to Philip Glass. His punk vocal tone, hovering near the midway point between the romantically beleaguered and civically aggrieved, fits his sentiments; the way his voice contrasts with his creative musical expanse marks a suitable match, too. Though he might want to find a fresh way to articulate his societal disaffection, Flash's other gifts continue to grow.