Jacco Gardner Cabinet of Curiosities

Jacco GardnerCabinet of Curiosities
In the latter half of the 1960s, artists like the Beatles and the Beach Boys began to make a shift away from conventional three-minute, tour-ready rock and roll and move towards a more studio-heavy, psychedelic sound. On his debut full length Cabinet of Curiosities, Dutch multi-instrumentalist Jacco Gardner picks up on this tradition of 1960s studio mastery, a practice he skillfully showcases across twelve sweetly-colored Baroque pop tracks. With its ringing harpsichords and psychedelic imagery, Cabinet is sonically steeped in curious nostalgia for the decade of peace and love that, at just 24 years of age, Gardner would have never actually known first hand. Yet, in spite of his youth, Gardner plays the part of '60s studio wizard exceptionally well, while offering vocal delivery and harmonies instantly reminiscent of acts like the Zombies and Syd Barrett. Throughout the album, Gardner yearns for a lost and bygone age. "Thinking about the old days again," he sings on "The One Eyed King," as if this sentiment of wistful longing for another time weren't already evident within the album's dreamily vintage atmosphere. Album closer and high point "The Ballad of Little Jane" brings to mind the Beatles' "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite!" with its carnivalesque array of Mellotron tones and other classic keyboard sounds. Alas, Gardner's impeccably keen ear for 1960s Baroque pop and psychedelia may also be his greatest downfall. Across over 45 minutes, Cabinet's strict 60s formula rarely changes and at times it can become a little tiresome. Yet, while Gardner's music isn't exactly anything new or groundbreaking, it serves as an appropriately nostalgic reminder of a time when it would have been. (Trouble in Mind)