The first little bit of Everything, Everything‘s opening track, “Standing in a Line,” features a repetition of the phrase “I’m ready.” It’s an energetic intro to another excellent entry in Shotgun Jimmie’s ever-expanding catalogue.
Much like his previous album Transistor Sister, this album features sixteen tracks. But unlike the previous album, not one of these tracks feels like a half-formed idea. Previously there would be under-a-minute bursts of creativity, whereas here Jimmie manages to pack the punch of a full song with tracks that clock in at barely over a minute.
In other words, Everything, Everything feels like it has, well, everything going for it. The album has tons of ideas in both the lyrical and melodic content, all filtered through Jimmie’s very wry sense of humour. It doesn’t get much better than the line in the breezy “Growing in a Garden” where Jimmie says “Darling it’s alarming that we both got into farming.”
Jimmie’s guitar is the centrepiece of many of the songs on this album, sometimes to a more calming effect on songs like “Big Sur” but other times to much heavier sounds like in “Adventure in the Heart.” The latter almost sounds like Diaper Island-era Chad Van Gaalen with its guitar sound and introspective lyrics.
There’s always the odd curveball on the album, such as in the standout “Carry On.” Featuring a weird line early on (“California’s waiting like raccoons in the night”) and some fuzzy guitar, the song later shifts to a slower, instrumental piano and strings section. “3212” is another killer track with some serious catchiness and references to outer space.
Then there’s the irreverent “Ladyhawk” with its furious guitar attack opening and references to This American Life. Or “North!” which packs in so many references to hotness and coldness that it’s hard to believe the song is only a minute-and-a-half long.
There’s a whole lot more to discover on this album, so embark on the journey of Everything, Everything and you’ll feel safe in Shotgun Jimmie’s own little private world. The album is available from the always stellar You’ve Changed Records.
Top Tracks: “Carry On”; “3212”; “Over a Million”
Rating: Hunting Call (Excellent) +*swoop*