Into the Uncharted
Every reader of this review will undeniably agree that the year 2020 (which was hyped to be the year of 20/20 vision – mental clarity) has turned out to be nothing but 365 days of mystery. Everyone on the planet was surely living each day as it arrived, hoping for brighter times ahead – much like taking route into the unknown. An artist who has placed that feeling into a collection of music but showcased how solidity can be achieved is Jambrains.
Jambrains is a Swedish multi-instrumentalist and songwriter who has been featured on Klef Notes multiple times – Life, Love, & Lies, to the conceptual Faded Dreams, and on to the emotion-driven Lost Horizons. Into the Uncharted is his latest album, and it places an emphasis on harnessing the unexpected.
Into the Uncharted contains eight songs:
- Solid Ground
- Into the Uncharted
- Burning! Burning!
- A Rolex And A Lighter
- Lean into Me
- Behind Closed Doors
- Shine on Me
Still satisfying Folk Music fans by staying true the genre, Jambrains’ keep the key instruments in the foreground but adds some Rock to embellish the unhinged spirit of the album’s theme. And as always with a Jambrains’ album, powerful guitars and strong melodies hold the collection together.
In this review, I will focus on the standout tracks: “Solid Ground,” “Burning! Burning!” “Enough,” and “Behind Closed Doors.”
The opening track of the album is “Solid Ground” – a song with a mid-to-slow tempo that lyrically discusses how when things are falling apart around you, you can still stand on solid ground if you have someone to stand with you. Jambrains vocally opts for a unison approach to his choruses giving off a dual ear effect which wonderfully personifies standing as two. The Rock instrumentation on this track just heightens hope – the cymbals and electric guitars.
“Burning! Burning!” is that anthemic track that makes the listener use their fists just as much as their hearts in that the fist will rise to the air and just stay there. This solid upbeat track is about “burning for change” and taking the steps to make it happen. This song has a nice Heartland Rock/Folk vibe with a guitar/percussion-driven core. This is the HOT ROD song of the collection!
In keeping with that ferocious spirit in the form of ON FIRE tracks, “Enough” keeps the pace going. “Enough” features a complex vocal arrangement as well as vocal FX and plays like a ballad. The storyline is about being giving more than enough to make a difference.
“Behind Closed Doors” is that Country Folk track that just tattoos itself onto you. Lyrically, the song is about what happens behind closed doors and how that can shape the mind, in particular the mind of a child. Jambrains sings:
I tried to walk on water
And, I tried to raise the dead
You knew you needed miracles
But you looked to me instead
You tried to make me choose
I was a child; I was afraid
I couldn’t walk on water
I couldn’t raise the dead
I knew the story heard behind closed doors
The screams and then the silence
Like so many nights before . . . . they pretended that it was normal
The calm and then storm, the tears and retribution, the promise of no more
The desperate “I love yous,” the pleading not to leave . . . . if I ignore it, it’s not real.
While each track solidly illustrates the album’s threading theme of finding balance and normalcy in the most unclear times in life, also make sure to pay attention to the title track “Into the Uncharted,” “A Rolex and a Lighter,” “Lean into Me,” and the inspirational “Shine On Me” which closes the album sublimely.
In the same way that many great authors write period pieces that gather and explain the times where society lived and changed, Into the Uncharted does the same thing musically. In typical Jambrains’ style, Into the Uncharted is an accomplished collection of music that just infuses passion with reality giving hope. Very sophisticated in its execution, Into the Uncharted wears its musical heart on its sleeve (of the album jacket) and solidly presents stability.