Exposé Online banner

John Curtis — Short Songs about Affordable Food
(Big Balloon Music BBM503, 2007, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2008-01-01

Short Songs about Affordable Food Cover artAn interesting concept — and a successful one too, that certainly lives up to its title. There are 43 songs here, and only a handful break the minute-and-a-half mark. Some are instrumentals, but most have lyrics with subject matter about... well, candy, burgers, snacks, pizza, soup, burritos, bagels etc. and their ramifications and importance within the larger scheme of things — and let's not forget the coffee! Within that context, Curtis' vocals are outstanding, and the music is impeccably produced throughout; he is joined by a number of guests on various instruments to augment his own guitars, keyboards and drums, while others contribute lyrics to some of the songs. Stylistically, one can hear the influence from Todd Rundgren, Mike Keneally, The Tubes, and even an occasional flash of Uncle Frank himself, in the widescreen production, jazzy segues, vocal harmonies, and wry wit. The material crosses all kinds of boundaries from 80s styled new wave MTV rock to progressive to art-pop with elements of soul, country rock, old-timey big-band with bits of jazz and classical woven in seamlessly, all saturated with the brilliance of vision in these vignette length pieces; perfect mind fodder for the attention-defecit generation. Throughout, Curtis establishes himself as an artist and composer that won't allow himself to be painted into any corners.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): John Curtis

Latest news

2017-07-27
Yestival Dates Beef up the Beat – Word reaches us that Dylan Howe (son of guitarist Steve Howe) will be joining Yes on their "Yestival" tour, drumming alongside longtime band member Alan White. » Read more

2017-05-19
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more

2017-05-05
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more

2017-05-02
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mark Ceccotti - Still at Large – Most will be familiar with Ceccotti as the guitarist and chief composer of Edhels, a band that released a number of LPs and CDs from the mid-1980s right up through 1999. Since that time he has...  (2009) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues