One Man’s Trash is a collaboration between ex Survivor vocalist, Jimi Jamison and respected musician/producer, Fred (Alannah Myles/Paul Carrack/Dominoe etc etc) Zahl.
Given the duo’s illustrious pedigree, expectation levels will be high. And while ‘History’ lacks the visceral thrills of primetime Survivor, where Peterik and Sullivan consistently reached for that “awesome melodic moment” and frequently grasped it, Jamison has lucked onto a highly talented songwriting and musical collaborator in Zahl.
Where eighties’ producers like Fillipetti and Nevison would have trowelled on the gloss, producer Zahl has used the polish sparingly. The understated, uncluttered arrangements and undemanding lyrics call for a strong vocal performance from Jamison. Impressively, he delivers just that, showing the power and punch for which he is known, but also a nuanced sensitivety, previously undetected.
Experience has clearly shown them both that in rock music, as much as anything else, it’s subtracting, not adding that tends to make it great. Clearly, they have an innate and instinctive way with a song.
The balladic ‘Long Time’ and the contemplative ‘Through Your Eyes’ are cases in point. These are simple love songs that address well worn themes, songs that speak of fractured relationships and regret. In other, less capable hands, they would descend into dull cliché, but Jamison injects them with humanity, making ordinary lyrics sparkle, bringing the songs to life with fresh meaning and, yes, not a little tenderness.
‘She Shines’ and ‘The Restless Kind’ and ‘Tears In My Eyes’ walk that fine line between Country Rock and Soft Rock. And again we acknowledge, that with Jamison, the sheer, spine tingling emotive power of his voice can transcend genres. For these guys, pigeonholing becomes a meaningless exercise.
Elsewhere, the album unfolds along conventional melodic rock lines, embracing just enough aurally adhesive hooks to catch us before we fall. On tracks like ‘Out Of Control’, ‘Meadowland’ and ‘Real Thing’, spurred on by Zahl’s fills, frills and relentless yet tasteful rifferama, Jamison’s voice exhibits the bite and passion we know and love. And now its got a few more thousand miles on the clock, there’s a loud ring of conviction to each and every lyric, every narrative, every sentiment.
Fine album and indeed a fruitful partnership. We should hope it continues.