Although you may never have heard the name Jesse Sprinkle, you might have heard of the group, Dead Poetic, and I'm pretty sure you have heard of Demon Hunter. While Jesse Sprinkle provided the drums for those hardcore bands for a time, he was also a founding member of the alternative rock group, Poor Old Lu, with his brother Aaron who is now a celebrated producer with Tooth & Nail, among lots of other things. So although you may not have heard his name before, Jesse Sprinkle has been around the music scene for a while. But while his talents venture into the hardcore and rock waters, his latest project, Streamstory, is firmly an acoustic undertaking.
Streamstory, primarily an acoustic guitar-driven effort, offers many solid and stirring acoustic tunes. The first track, "The Color Of The First Light" is a top song on the album with an impressive vocal output by Sprinkle. Both "Old home" and "Somehow" are solid acoustic tracks, while an otherwise ordinary "In Loving Memory" is powered by a great bridge. Amongst all of this lie, "The Stories, The Stones," a nifty instrumental track with folk leanings.
But not all of the album is above average. Scattered throughout the album are songs that sound far too similar to each other to stand out. Worse yet, there are tunes that do stand out but for the wrong reasons. The promising addition of an indie influence on "Clockwork" turns out to be fruitless, and the clock-like sounds which end a significant portion of the tune are just straight up annoying. "Dream Valley Blvd" doesn't fair much better with the distorted vocals and the distracting background music, but at least that song is less than two minutes long. Then there is the title track which acts as a bizarre encore with several portions from songs not on the record along with "The Color Of The First Light." Before the lengthy song ends, we are treated to a long piano interlude, before the tune ends with aimless guitar strumming.
The singer/songwriting aspect of the album permits the listener to interpret what exactly Sprinkle is trying to get across and fair interpretations of his metaphors are not always available. However the lyrics on "Everlasting joy" ("though I'm weak you carry us on to everlasting joy") and "Your Touch Is Gold" ("I call out your name/come to me friend/for your touch is gold/and all I can say you take me home") are pretty obvious.
There is certainly a lot to like on Streamstory. Peaceful songs are all over the album, and the lyrics meet that mood wonderfully. But a frustrating thread of awkward music running throughout the album made it impossible to love. Throw in the fact that artists like Caedmon's Call, Jon Foreman, or even Jesse's brother Aaron have made more complete and innovative acoustic projects, and you have an album that doesn't demand immediate attention.- Review date: 9/12/11, written by Nathaniel Schexnayder of Jesusfreakhideout.com
Record Label: Blind Records
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