Jim Bob – ‘Thanks For Reaching Out’

❉ James Collingwood on Jim Bob’s latest studio album.

‘The third part of an impressive trilogy of albums recorded over the last few tumultuous years for the planet, ‘Thanks for Reaching Out’ feels like it has been made by a man settled in his own skin but not happy with what is going on in the world.’

Following the dissolution of Carter USM, James ‘Jim Bob’ Morrison has had an impressive solo career. His last two albums Pop-Up Jim Bob and Who Do We Hate Today hit the album charts and new studio album Thanks for Reaching Out should do the same. The album kicks off with its title track, previously released as a single, which offers a feeling of hope and romance in an “effed up world”. With its Jam/Strange Town vibe and Terry Edwards (Madness, Higsons, Gallon Drunk, Holy Holy) on saxophone and trumpet, it’s a great opener and declares, “This is my Long and Winding Road, my God Only Knows, my Up the Junction, typed up on a bus and sent from my iPhone”.

The other single from the album, the jaunty Sebastian’s Gone on a Ridealong, caused some controversy on social media with its depiction of Jacob Rees Mogg. It’s a fun track and the lyrics were ‘inspired’ by Boris Johnson’s (now hopefully redundant) habit of riding around with the emergency services in order to get a photo opportunity.

Other themes dealt with in Jim Bob’s lyrics are Putin’s war crimes in The Day of Reckoning, American gun massacres in goesaroundcomesaround and billionaires in space in…well…Billionaire in Space. The short and effective Toxic Man has a Buzzocks vibe reminiscent of their track Walking Distance.

This is End Times is a modern-day Ghost Town, whilst We Need to Try Harder (We Need To Do Better) includes the characteristically witty line, “Whatever earworm does it for you Mozart’s Requiem or Black Lace’s Agadoo” and makes reference to Jim Bob and Carter favourite Ian Dury.

The album’s last full track Prince of Wales is a melancholy pub ballad and features the great lyric, “Crying over spilt milk isn’t worth it. You only end up with spilt salty milk.”. The lyrics retain enough puns to annoy former NME and Melody Maker journalists, something that can only be a good thing.

The album appears in all formats, is designed by Mark Reynolds (aka Stuff by Mark), and includes bonus album, This Is My Mixtape, a collection of cover versions recorded by Jim Bob with help from the Hoodrats. Always great at cover versions, Jim Bob and his band take on the Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel Mk.I song Sebastian, Are Friends Electric and song Country Comfort from Elton John’s Tumbleweed Connection. There’s also a great version of Geno that started as a tour bus singalong – as he recalled in a recent interview for We Are Cult, “It was a song that everybody in the band liked. I just remember everybody singing it in the van after we’d played Birmingham when quite drunk.”.

Now with a steady group of musicians behind him, Jim Bob’s twelfth solo album feels like it has been made by a man settled in his own skin but not happy with what is going on in the world and Thanks for Reaching Out could be said to complete an impressive trilogy of albums recorded over the last few tumultuous years for the planet.

Live Jim Bob dates to celebrate the album’s release are on sale now:

12 July: Leeds Brudenell
13 July: Nottingham Rescue Rooms
14 July: Bristol Thekla
15 July: Brighton Chalk
2 December: Brixton Electric

❉  Tickets from seetickets.com

Jim Bob’s new album ‘Thanks For Reaching Out‘ is released via Cherry Red Records on 30 June 2023, RRP from £12.99. The album will be available on vinyl, CD, cassette and digital platforms. The vinyl is purple in a gatefold sleeve with a 2024 calendar and the CD version comes with a second disc ‘This is My Mixtape;’ a collection of cover versions recorded especially for the album.

❉ Jim Bob recently performed the Carter USM 1992 Glastonbury headlining setlist on his YouTube channel

 James Collingwood is based in West Yorkshire and has been writing for a number of years. He currently also writes for the Bradford Review magazine for which he has conducted more than 30 interviews and has covered music, film and theatre.  His Twitter is @JamesCollingwo1

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