The Records of my Life: Jay-Jay Johanson: Whiskey

They are not the best records ever. Maybe they are too.
But that’s not the point of this page on my blog.
Once a week, every Sunday.
The records that most contributed to getting to this point in my life.
The reason why I decided to write about my music in this way is that I am turning sixty this year.
Music has been essential in my growth as a person.
It made me make life choices, some even wrong, probably.
Every Monday, I will start to listen to a record that I think has been crucial in my past.
I’ll play it until I come out with happy memories, emotions and maybe some tears.
Finally, I will leave you every Sunday to let you find the record I was listening and to discovered something more about me.

Massimo Usai

Jay-Jay Johanson : Whiskey

This is back in 1997 during a summer in France that I discovered Jay-Jay Johanson.
I was in Rouen for three days, The Tour de France started there, with an individual time trial and was three days of Party on the Capital of Normandy.
I have clarity on my mind how much hot was and how crowds the town was.

At one point, as usual, I do when I visit a new town, I went to a record shop, a classical “Fnac“. I have always loved that Record Chain. They still have class and style in the way they exposed the records.
The year before (1996) I was in Paris and in one of the Fnacs in Champ Elysée I had discovered a new group that later became one of my favorite groups ever: “Belle And Sebastian“.
So I went to The Fnac again with high hopes of discovering something new again.
I was inside the shop maybe just less of ten minutes when a kind of bit electro and a weird voice creates something that I haven’t heard since I have fallen in love with The Portishead. The sound that was playing so clear inside the shop make me ring the alarm bell
I took a few minutes to localize where the record was, and I bought it.
For the rest of the holiday was my soundtrack of me following the Cycling up and down France.

It’s Jay-Jay Johanson’s first album, no doubt a product of its time.
Johanson’s plaintive vocals still soar above the scratches and vinyl crackles of “It Hurts Me So” or the more pared-down “The Girl I Love Is Gone.”

Was such a natural fall in love with this sophisticated, laid back and mellow sound and no doubt the album is excellent and quite surprising.
Accessible to mentioned Portishead or Tricky to describe the sound on, but I like to refer either Scott Walker and Chet Baker to better help you to understand what it is inside this record.

The album it’s a classical indie product but become a masterpiece so fast. I remember to felt so important and cool when I was talking back in my town about this Swedish guy living in Paris and his mellow sound.

Also, the album isn’t too long. Nine songs, 36 minutes make the album either so more special.
It’s a concept album, it’s the story of a breakdown, the sadness of it and the conclusion with joy and hopes.

Almost twenty-five years later one of my best album ever and I still listen to it like the first day, and this is why it is inside the list of the alum of my life.

Leave a Reply