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Jae Laffer


When The Iron Glows Red

Dew Process/Universal

Gee it’s a pleasure hearing the old familiar voice. I‘m not sure you even need to know The Panics to know Mr Laffer. His voice is just synonymous with Aussie music. A Paul Kelly in waiting of sorts. While it isn’t leading its usual bunch of Panics, this is a pleasant listen.

Perhaps the biggest point of difference between this and a Panics album is the musicianship, not to say there isn’t any here. It’s just The Panics’ albums are lush and big, almost cinematic in scope. This is a little more minimal, generally relying on an acoustic guitar, a bit of a piano, some inoffensive drums and showcasing that voice.

Opener, Leave A Light On, is a great way to begin. It is a catchy ditty about a man lamenting the dissolution of his relationship – wanting to get closer because he feels a distance. With a nice shuffling tempo and some keys almost reminiscent of the orient, it’s Jae Laffer all over.

Always So Close is a cracker – another slice of adult contemporary for 30-something existentialism, but the drums are sick and will keep your fingers dancing away on the steering wheel. Don’t Make Me Wait wouldn’t be out of place on Paul Kelly’s Under The Sun album. Similarly Ill Be Leaving On Time has some early ‘80s Paul Kelly-isms with some freestyle saxophone. No Love Lost and I See Myself In You are a couple for the Essential Jae Laffer in a about a decade. The album sort of culminates in these two songs; building towards, but never quite reaching until these gems. It’s a great album, one that won’t surprise any Panics fans, just as it won’t disappoint.

Rating: 4 stars  


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