Curve 001
Passenger is the singular vision of Canadian producer/musician Jim Slansky.
On "Getting There," he plays all the instruments, wrote 11 of the 12 songs
and served as the disc’s producer. It’s an honest effort and Slansky wears
his influences well. Equally drawing
from Jerry Garcia-like guitar lines and funky rhythm and blues, Slansky
the two styles into a cohesive sound that is largely pleasing.
Slansky’s playing of all the instruments is both an advantage and detriment:
While it allows him to pursue an overall unified sound, it gives short
shift to everything but the lead guitar. He’s an assured singer who draws
heavily from neo-hipsters like Lenny Kravitz and Eagle-Eye Cherry (of "Save
Tonight" fame).
After a reggae-fied opening treatment of Bill Whither’s Ain’t No
"Getting There" continues with all originals that showcase a gift for
songcraft. Each of the following 11 cuts inhabits its own space and some of
the tracks exhibit tremendous potential. Only The Golfing Song gets a
little too close to patented Meters riffs for comfort.
In an odd move, Slansky provides bonus songs featuring purely instrumental
tracks of five of the
disc’s previous songs. Considering Slansky’s choice of handling all the
instruments, this is an unnecessary maneuver. Overall, "Getting There" is a
solid disc of a new talent that might benefit if it were to evolve into more
of a band project.