Derek Clegg – KJC
February 8, 2010
A couple months ago Derek Clegg approached me through Last.fm, asking me if I would check out his new album. Not one to turn away from possibly discovering an interesting new artist, I started listening to his album “KJC”, which is his 4th release. I found myself interested in the layered songwriting, and in his eclectic approach he manages to keep the songs very accessible and at times even catchy. This is no small feat and in many aspects Clegg isn’t a typical singer/songwriter.
First of all, he does everything by himself, the whole process of writing, recording, preproduction, production, post-production, distribution, etc. etc. Of course he gets a little help here and there, but he’s the songwriter, the vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who plays pretty much everything on the album (on 3 tracks he gets a little help on bass & drums). I like that. It shows he puts a lot of energy in it, that literally he put himself out there.
And it’s not just an admirable effort, it’s also an album filled with good songs, and occasionally even great songs. The lush sounding Home is a splendid americana/pop song with a nice folky undertone. It does a good job of sticking in your head. Also Quirky Little Love Song is quite good. At first it just sounds, well, quirky, but after you heard it a few times you can appreciate the thought behind it even better. The acoustic-based Adore has a beautiful arrangement and lyrics that feel like they speak to you on a personal level. But the best song on the album is the indie/folk of Found. It sounds so simple, but it’s actually not that easy to play and Clegg is able to create a very organic song that’s filled with emotion. It feels rich and intimate at the same time. And this is exactly what makes me call Derek Clegg a strong songwriter. And that he can perform the song accordingly only deepens my respect for him.
“KJC” is a pretty good release, containing some stellar songs, making Clegg a very interesting artist to listen to and a joy to discover, even if it took me 4 albums to even hear of him. Not all the songs stand out as much, but there aren’t really any bad songs on the album. But it’s the stand out songs (which I mentioned above) that make this album very worthy of your time and effort. Give it a spin, you can listen to it for free on Last.fm.