Long ago, the selfsame forces that collided violently to form nebulous clouds of cosmic debris churning up a mess of protoplasm like so much homemade ice cream, set a chain of events in motion culminating in (gasp) J.D. Beard’s magnum opus There Is a Storm Coming. Why wasn’t the advent of such advances as chorus ensemble effects for electric guitar, drum programming, affordable digital home recording interfaces and CD burners heeded with the same sober concern as the crop circle harbingers of 2012? I am terrified and confused. Let me explain.
This record is kind of OK. Or it would have been if it had come out when we all were drinking TAB soda and watching “Miami Vice.” There is something eerily anachronistic about Mr. Beard’s effort. It can’t be dismissed as the feeble attempt of someone who is simply out of touch with the state of contemporary music. That kind of work is always plagued by technical problems and shoddy musicianship. I don’t find that here; the drum programming is spot on, the guitar work is more than capable, and the vocal work is decent. So what’s going on? It’s just stuck in some sort of time warp.
When someone records their own album, generally they make it for themselves first. You, I and even J.D. Beard himself would never expect a Grammy nod for this record, because that’s not what it’s about. He’s a visual artist, songwriter and musician. He seems very comfortable with the results and secure enough in himself to be proud of his work and not really care about its relevancy. That’s enough for me.
This is not a good record by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s J.D. Beard’s record. A real person made it. That’s saying something.