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Timing Is Everything

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Album Review

New York alt-folkie Block (aka Jamie Block) returns strong with his sophomore effort, Timing Is Everything, the follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut, Lead Me Not Into Penn Station. Comparable to such quirky artists as Beck and They Might Be Giants, Block offers humorous lyrics, but never treads on Weird Al Yankovic territory. The main ingredient of all the songs on Timing Is Everything is acoustic guitar, with other instruments and electronics filling up the space when needed. Such is the case with the upbeat melodic track "The Pink House Must Burn," which combines Block's strummed acoustic guitar and wry vocals with a recurring sitar sample, a freestyle rap, and a rocking, bouncy backing track. The album's opener, "3rd Mall from the Sun" (the title is a take-off on the Jimi Hendrix classic "Third Stone from the Sun"), is another unconventional highlight, while other oddities include the hard rocker "I Call Her Vicious," the mellow "Cigarettes, Prozac & Scotch," and an unconventional cover of the Perry Como standard "Catch a Falling Star." An impressive major-label debut for Block, who perfectly balances humor with memorable music. [The CD was also released with bonus tracks.]

Customer Reviews

Timing did turn out to be everything.

Capitol really shot itself in the foot (and shot artist Jamie Block in the gut) by not promoting this fin-de-siecle classic first released in the waning days before Y2K. In a way, it speaks to the era's odd ebullience in the face of probable disaster - zany loops, absurd and wonderful lyrics - but always with an undercurrent of acoustic guitar honesty. It's an angry record, fueled by the failed promises of the '90s (and illegal drugs) but remains a testament to what Block can do when pushed. Favorite tracks include the pounding "Rhinoceros", the incendiary "Pink House Must Burn", the anthemic "Cigarettes, Prozac and Scotch", and of course, the crowd-pleaser, "I Used to Manage PM Dawn". This record was one smart tie-in away from a moneymaker... thank god iTunes came along to give albums like these new life.

Biography

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s

New York-based anti-folkie Jamie Block debuted in 1996 with the indie label Lead Me Not to Penn Station; favorable reviews and tours opening for the likes of the Brian Setzer Orchestra, Bob Mould and They Might Be Giants helped bring him to the attention of Glen Ballard, who signed Block to his newly-formed...
Full Bio
Timing Is Everything, Block
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