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Mood Elevator

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Album Review

Jack Logan's true debut album (1994's Bulk was a two-disc set of demos recorded over the course of a decade), 1996's Mood Elevator finds the swimming pool motor repairman/part-time comic book artist backed by a full band, the aptly-named Liquor Cabinet, led by long-time co-conspirator Kelly Keneipp. All of the songs this time are co-written, either with Keneipp or guitarist Dave Phillips, and Logan wisely limits himself to vocals. Bulk had shown that Logan really wasn't much of a melodicist or guitarist, but his vocal and lyrical gifts are outstanding, and they're actually sharper here than they had been on Bulk. Tunes like the opening "Teach Me the Rules" and the mysterious "Ladies and Gentlemen" are lyrically evocative and musically memorable, and the full-band arrangements make this a richer-sounding album than the sometimes too Spartan Bulk. Most impressively, Keneipp and the rest of Liquor Cabinet are able to keep the "friends hanging out and playing in the garage" vibe that made Bulk so refreshing. An unpretentious but deeply satisfying album, Mood Elevator sounds like a more relaxed Wilco or Guided By Voices with a good editor and a far better work ethic. It didn't get the press Bulk did, but, in the long run, it's a better album.

Customer Reviews

Unusual lyrics - great singing - power pop emphasizing power - a dab of country

Great American post-alternative rock & roll. Sort of Elvis Costello does Americana with a lot of Replacements attitude thrown in. Logan has an almost unique approach to lyrics. Most songs contain two closely observed verses and two beautifully economical choruses. Few repeats, few fade-outs, just boom-boom-done. The lyrical focus is on a kind of manly pathos, but specific subject matter bounces all over the place.

Other than "Sky Won't Fall" which sounds like he's on 'ludes, the vocals range from elegant quasi-country (No Offense, Bleed) to great straight-ahead rock (Chinese Lorraine, Ladies and Gentlemen). The music ranges from near punk (Neon Tombstone) to folk-rock to several songs of gloriously familiar chord progressions that fit into power pop. The album inexplicably starts with the two weakest songs and then just gets better and better. Stick with it.

Biography

Born: Greenville, MS

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

Singer/songwriter Jack Logan was anything but the overnight success he appeared to be at first glance — a prolific and gifted talent, he spent over a decade as an unknown before emerging as a critic's darling with his 1994 debut, Bulk. A native of southern Illinois, after high school Logan and his friend Kelly Keneipp relocated to Winder, GA, a small town located near Athens, a longtime musical hotbed home to acts ranging from R.E.M. to the B-52's. Logan garnered some underground notice during...
Full Bio
Mood Elevator, Jack Logan
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