I am a massive fan of The Jigsaw Seen, so I was naturally excited to hear lead vocalist and songwriter Dennis Davison's debut solo album. I wasn't disappointed. Davison has produced an album of great lyrical depth and quality.
The album is rooted in 60's orientated Pop Rock, but that takes up the whole gamut. Beat, Prog, Psych and even Folk shades of Pop. The fact that Davison plays everything himself is even more remarkable. This added to his long time strength as a vocalist provides a fine listen.
The easiest way to describe these delights is to say if you read Shindig, you will absolutely adore this. The Book Of Strongman isn't a Jigsaw Seen album, although there are plenty of elements of the band. The Guitar isn't as prominent and the feel is slightly darker, intriguingly so.
This is storytelling of the highest standard. Unusual themes backed with mellotron and analogue synths. Even a song as acoustic as The Spoken Word is enhanced by these sounds. Aberdeen Vista is reminiscent of the great 70s Singer Songwriters with a wonderful mandolin accompaniment.
Auras is a cracking slab of Psych and Museum Piece even has electronic beats, so there is no lack of variation. In The Folly Of Youth is splendid gentle Prog. The real strength though is when Davison lets rip. Strongman And Sonny James is memorable Psych Pop and a great album opener.
Shadow On A Tall tree is the obvious single, a melodic masterpiece with word packed verses and a big chorus. It is the most Pop that the album gets, but that's no complaint. It is wonderful to listen to an album that is intelligent, both lyrically and instrumentally strong. The Book Of Strongman is an outstanding offering.