If you grew up in the 1990s, you may recall coming home from school, noticing your mother having a smoke, vacuuming the same spot, and watching General Hospital. Perhaps, you were a fan of Disney movies, and you remember a film entitled Camp Nowhere. If so, the names Lucky Spencer, and Morris “Mud” Himmel may strike a familiar chord in your brain. These characters had been portrayed by actor Jonathan Jackson, a seemingly limitless and multifaceted artist. In his spare time from his role as Avery Barkley on ABC’s hit show, Nashville, and being a published poet, he also leads a band. Jackson is the front man of Nashville, Tennessee based rock band Enation. On October 14, 2014, the band released their fourth studio album, Radio Cinematic. It is the first release with Loud & Proud Records.
Comparably to his precursor, Jared Leto and the band Thirty Seconds to Mars, Jackson has maintained one foot in both the film and music world for many years. Both bands were co-founded by sibling drummers as well. Thirty Seconds to Mars includes Jared’s brother Shannon Leto, and Enation includes Jonathan’s brother Richard Lee Jackson.
In a time and place where music seems to have lost itself to the corporate blender, there shines a refreshing, and stirring coalesce of lyrics, atmosphere, and adventure. Radio Cinematic is just that, an exciting journey into the world of concept albums. The band is truly a group of euphonic architects, sculpting a sonic landscape that paints an intrepid perspective of love, wonder, faith, and addiction. The album revolves around this image of a young world, where everything is brand new, a setting which has been dubbed the Young World’s Riot.
From an ear pleasing emergence of “Young World’s Riot,” to an exquisite reprise for a finale on “Young World’s Riot (The End),” the new album is teeming with surprises. With astonishing, emotional highs, allusive insights, and an intellectual choice of words, Jackson really puts things into perspective. It is difficult to do anything other than turn the volume up, and empathize with this poet’s heartfelt reflections. Jackson shows us his lyrical idealism time and time again, but one of the strongest, and most provoking notions comes in the beginning of “A Far Away Reality.” “Every war is a civil war / cut from the edge of a broken sword / we all bleed the same red / we all weep for our dead / it’s as close a mother’s tears / it’s as far away as your apathy / it’s a far away reality.”
Highlights from the album include the two singles “Everything Is Possible,” and “Cinematic.” Falling short of the limelight is an intimate piece based entirely on piano, and vocals, entitled “The Hands Of Your Drugs.” Jackson sympathetically cries out “maybe you just haven’t suffered enough / at the hands of your drug.” This type of lyrical ability is remarkable in the current state of mindless, meaningless, and often unintelligible music. It is truly refreshing as it alludes to some of the great musical poets such as: Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, and Nick Drake. Without any words, the music can speak for itself, this only makes the record better every time you hear it.
An FDRMX interview with Jonathan Jackson regarding the album can be seen here. For more information on Jonathan Jackson + Enation, check out his website Radio Cinematic can be purchased online through iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon.