Album Review: Jambrains' LAND OF THE WEARY

When have you put on an album in today’s world of music, in 2023, and you were speechless? Completely moved or totally frozen by emotions in your mind that were asleep?  For me, it’s been a minute.  In comes Swedish multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Jambrains with his latest album Land of Weary.  This album is alive with poignant stories that go in the ears, on to the soul, and end up in the mind.

Land of the Weary contains eight songs:

  1. Land of the Weary
  2. Walk Away
  3. A Brand New Stage
  4. Lift the Weight
  5. Turn of the Tide
  6. So Worth It
  7. The Sweetness of Surrender
  8. Omaha Beach

In this review, I will highlight the album's standout tracks that clearly illustrate the album’s theme of resilience through observation and acceptance.

The album opens up with the title track, “Land of the Weary.”  The song is a moderate-tempo track with a guitar intro.  The lyrics describe the relationship between the narrator and road partner as they travel across America detailing their experiences.  The lyrics sing:

We passed through

mid-size, midwest cities

where confidence and hope

are things of the past

We passed through

mid-size, midwest cities

Through the land of the weary

and the home of the damned


Tacos kept us fed driving down the I-94

eyes glued to the road

Top down, wind in our hair

Adventures waiting to unfold

With every stop and every stay

Met so many souls along the way

the same old story, long hours

and no decent pay

The title could serve as a double entendre in that the “land of the weary '' could describe the good, the bad and the ugly of traveling through a foreign land, but it could also illustrate the highs, lows, good, and bad within a relationship that smooths itself out in the end when two are a united front.

A Brand New Stage” tells the tale of a relationship that has run its course and demonstrates Jambrains’ theme of resilience through observation and acceptance lyrically with the narrator having the courage to move on from a love he once knew and stand on a “new” stage starting life over.   The most potent lyric: Please won't you see that this bird has flown.  It rose from the ashes, escaped from its cage, the curtain is raised for a brand new stage.  When you first listen to the instrumentation on this track, the listener may feel as if this is a song of new love, bliss, and captivation with the light opening strings and percussions. But soon, the lyrics spell out a track featuring something different.  It is optimistic, and it is about NEW, but in the form of escapism and starting over.  “A Brand New Stage” has a great melody and infectious honesty that is missing in most songs today.

In keeping with his theme of resilience through observation and acceptance, “Lift the Weight” does not disappoint.  The fourth song of the collection is the type of ballad that just makes you pause.  The mandoline just grabs at your heart strings.  Jambrains’ signature sound of passionate purpose is all over this track.  The storyline is about dropping off your weight, or burdens, and making space for peace to forgive yourself and allow oneself the opportunity to be okay.

“The Sweetness of Surrender” is quite another type of ballad.  Just take a moment to reflect on these emotionally robust lyrics:

Once I was like you

Now not so much

Can’t recall your kisses

Or the warmth of your touch

I’ve blocked them from my memory

So I won't feel the pain

So I can say the fire is gone

And not a spark remains


The sweetness of surrender

Relief as I let go

My genie in a bottle

tells me all I need to know

The sweetness and the freedom

to just not give a damn

'bout anything or anyone

but the next Diazepam

In this tale of unrequited love [love not returned or rewarded], Jambrains chose to highlight the keys - the piano!  The piano starts the track whispering the core melody of this track and in comes Jambrains delicately vocalizing the emotions of each lyric. This is going to be the tear-jerker at the live performances.  Get out the Kleenex guys.  Only a skilled songwriter can weave beautiful observations into music.

The final track is the anchor of the collection.  “Omaha Beach.”  With this one song, Jambrains fully summarizes the theme of resilience through observation and acceptance.  The explanation of the theme is due to the backdrop that inspired the track.  Jambrains shared his experience of his visit to France.  He visited Normandy and the D-Day beaches.  In addition, Jambrains stopped at the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer by Omaha Beach.  While there, he stood there looking at the endless rows of white marble crosses.  He thought to himself, “what if all these men rose up from their graves and looked at the world of today. Would they find peace knowing that their sacrifice helped to shape a better world or would they look at the world in dismay, turn and walk away?”  The hook sings:

A white marble cross

"Here Rests In Honored Glory

A Comrade In Arms

Known But To God"

That was all that it said

That was all that they got

A Comrade In Arms

Known But To God

Known But To God

The first part of the chorus, “Here Rests In Honored Glory, A Comrade In Arms Known But To God" is a direct quote from the crosses that marks the graves of unknown soldiers.  The audio FX of the gulls in flight and the waves ebbing and flowing just sets the stage for a mental opera - kind of a tragedy but more of a soliloquy. Truly, life gives way to art!

It is great to hear an artist stay true to their signature sound.  With Jambrains, you are going to hear some amazing guitar riffs and strong melodies.  But it is awesome to hear an artist keep things fresh - not changing their style, but adding different instruments, different productions of FX, and even putting a spin on melodies (instrument and vocal) to add variety to their sound.  Jambrains delivered this technique on Land of the Weary.  This album’s instrumental layers give texture, while the vocal supports the lyrics, which in turn, sparks the imagination.  This technique gives birth to a descriptive, interpretive, album.  

The music is upbeat and breathes new air in old memories, but unlike many albums today, Jambrains’ Land of the Weary places emphasis on storytelling, reality, and unapologetic honesty - nothing is sugar-coated or muted.  The Land of  the Weary lyrically and instrumentally places a pause on the panic of life and gives each listener the time to just exist.   This is the music for the listeners!  Land of the Weary will paint a picture, build a story, and place practicality back into a world full of no imagination, no reality, and no soul.

Each song showcased in this review shows how when a person accepts what cannot be changed, and observes the turns, bumps, stop signs, cliffs, and hills on their journey through different stages of their lives and history, then and only then can they be resilient.