Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Homespun: John Maxfield 

(Tantrum Niche Records)

Airy, open piano chords, brushed drums and organ accents usher in John Maxfield's latest record with the cocktail-jazz instrumental "Theme to Hullabalooga," a sly hint that the album may be more ambitious than most of its rock/pop contemporaries. In a way, it is different; the album relies more on the soft edges of piano jazz. And as it does on Joe Jackson's Night & Day, this trope pairs nicely with classic pop songcraft – but only when Maxfield lets pop structures trump the jazz flourishes. At seven minutes, "I Miss Her" feels interminable, with a tenor saxophone solo droning on much longer than the lyrical portion. Likewise, the "band on the run" tale of "Back on the Bus" attempts to trade Brill Building pop for a Mothers of Invention-esque freak out, but it comes out sounding like They Might Be Giants minus the humor. Maxfield is better at the disconsolate "Total Disaster" and especially the zippy power-pop stomper "Black and Blue" – the songs give a better framework for his catchy melodies and sharp-cornered hooks.

Want your CD to be considered for a review in this space? Send music c/o The Riverfront Times, Attn: Homespun, 6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200, St. Louis, Missouri, 63130. E-mail for more information.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 20, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation