Even though the music on “I Wish My Name Were Jack” was xcreated this last year, the compositions feel as if they could have came out years and year ago. The disc’s first track is “Salt Water Jam”, and it meanders around for a few minutes before Mullen moves on. This music is not for those individuals that wish to run or mosh to the guitar strains of an act. Mullen is for those individuals that are sitting on the porch, sitting on lemonaide, and Mullen does not have a problem with that. The tracks are unrepentant, and show Mullen’s love for the genre and unwillingness to compromise this love for further sales.
The second track on the album is “I’m Sorry, Jeannie”, which continues many of the same threads as were present during “Salt Water Jam”. In “I’m Sorry, Jeannie”, Mullen’s vocals seem to move from a 19th century type of folk to a 1920’s type of sound. The result is much the same, but the country-fused, folky instrumentation goes a little into the background for the track. Again, the music that is ultimately created by Mullen is something that grandparents could appreciate, even as Mullen is plying eir wares in coffee shops and other venues all throughout the United States. The wide appeal of Mullen is a reason why the album is solid. Even if a track like “I’m Sorry, Jeannie” is goofy in much the same way that Randy Newman and Jeff Beal are, this will not wreck serious appreciation of the musical style that Mullen places on “I Wish My Name Were Jack”.
The repeat value of the songs are high, as individuals will find themselves singing along to Mullen’s compositions after only a few listens. The wide-open spaces that are the disc’s instrumental tracks provide the largest obstacle for individuals that wish to enjoy the disc; Mullen does pretty much every song with little more than a guitar, and the resulting open holes that individuals would typically be waiting for a drum or a bass guitar are enough to make individuals not enjoy the album as much as they would have. Still, the music that Mullen creates on this album is solid, many people will like it, and provides Mullen with a formula that ey can use for another few albums. Check the disc out if you are a fan of folk music.
Top Tracks: My Name’s Ray, Bottle on the Shelf
Andy Mullen – I Wish My Name Were Jack / 2006 Padlock / 12 Tracks / http://www.andymullenmusic.com / http://www.padlockrecords.com / Reviewed 21 April 2007