JP Doyle – “At The End Of The Road” / “One More Thing”

 JP Doyle – “At The End Of The Road” / “One More Thing”

JP Doyle – “At The End Of The Road” / “One More Thing” – Singles Review

JP’s moving quickly these days…and only he’s gonna be the person that knows exactly why that is.  I’m of the mind that as long as you’re not cheating yourself and the material in the music you’re making, go ahead and roll on full steam ahead…but I’m not completely convinced yet that Doyle shouldn’t be taking a few more minutes here & there to get the best out of himself and the songs he’s creating.  That could be my personal take on the situation – maybe you and JP will feel differently than I do, and that’s okay.  I only exist to call things like I hear’em, and I only comment when I’m tapped to do so…otherwise I remain dormant, waiting for that next opportunity to listen to something, happy in my own little world where I’m not bothering anyone, I promise.  Like we’d experienced just a couple weeks back in listening to an album’s worth of tunes from JP Doyle, his songs have all kinds of potential that simply needs a bit more time and attention to detail in order to get the maximum out of the material, but he’s real close overall.

“At The End Of The Road” merges the worlds between Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly somewhat…the songwriting is more like Roy, the sound a bit more like an updated Buddy with a bit of a Beatles tinge to it.  It’s kind of one of those things…there’s really nothing wrong with a track like “At The End Of The Road” other than the fact that it’ll probably remind you of the names I’ve cited and a whole bunch more – but we’re all the sum of our influences, aren’t we?  So don’t get me wrong, as I’ve said many times on these pages of ours…any song that comes out basically perfect is a serious achievement, and nothing has to be written to reinvent the wheel – it really just depends on the kind of artist you wanna be.  This song feels and sounds like so many tracks that are out there, though it’s arguable that the reason this is the case, is because JP’s rockin’ with a genuinely timeless vibe on “At The End Of The Road.”  Tried, tested, and true as it is, there’s a reason that we run into songs that seem similar to others we’ve heard time and time again in the music we listen to…and that’s simply because they are.  Our ears are naturally attracted to similar patterns, chord structures, vocal melodies…all that stuff – that’s why true uniqueness is such an incredibly hard thing to achieve and so rarely comes along.  “At The End Of The Road” has some excellent ideas in the backing vocals that I really like, a solid piano melody that works wonders, lead vocals that reveal some fantastic highlights overall…there’s really not a whole lot I’d change about this track aside from the bass-lines/low-end being a bit dominant at the moment.  At the end of the day, “At The End Of The Road” is very much rooted in the roots of music’s history and we can easily recognize that it’s gonna appeal to those that still appreciate that & their Classic Rock/Pop tunes – beyond that, it becomes a tougher sell to the masses listening these days I suppose, but not impossible.  All the pieces feel like they’re in the right place…bass down a bit, vocals with a bit more conviction and purpose in every word, and I feel like he’d have everything he’s looking for in “At The End Of The Road” – there are huge positives in the structure, the backing vocals, piano, and drums…all that checks out.

“One More Thing” leans more towards a psych/Beatles-era type of sound…and I’d say that the artistic potential is a bit stronger in this track, though the accessibility wouldn’t be as prevalent if that’s the case.  Tracks like “One More Thing” tend to be more interesting to listeners than tracks that necessarily keep them coming back for listen after listen, know what I mean?  This particular cut of the two is also a lot further away from being done than “At The End Of The Road” was as well…vocally, there’s a whole bunch of moments in this track that are somewhat lacking that extra ounce of confidence and energy they need to make the difference.  The key to making the changes that JP would wanna make are right there in the first line of this very song:  “I’m always in a hurry to accomplish everything…” – so slow down!  Unless the suits and ties are there behind you in the studio, poking you every two minutes in the ribs with a sharp stick demanding that next single gets released by yesterday, there’s actually no real reason or excuse as to why you shouldn’t take as much time as you should to do right by the material.  Like I ran into with a few tracks on Doyle’s Songs From The Sky album that I reviewed just last week, he’s got some material that simply needs more time…another run through of this or that…some polish on it here or there…and I’m not sure I fully understand the reasons behind why he’s not willing to do that yet, before they reach the critical stage of being released online.  Maybe there’s a reason for the methods behind the madness and I’m just not aware of what that is…that’s always a possibility dear readers, dear friends – I’ve never claimed to know the whole story or know everything about everyone I end up listening to.  When it comes to the vocals, don’t get me wrong – just like on “At The End Of The Road,” there are some significant highlights…and at other times, it feels like we’re experiencing the difference between singing a song and feeling one – that make sense?  Ultimately, everyone out there can sing a song to a degree…you get your words in front of ya, and you give it a go as best you can.  Most of the time, you can get away with that too…the majority of listeners don’t always hear a massive difference – but what always separates the good from the great is when you can sing with passion, purpose, and intent…when you know the material so inside & out that you completely feel it like it’s part of your DNA.  That’s a hard thing to achieve if you are rushing the process in any way.  I’m not necessarily saying that’s what JP’s doing for a fact, but the theory holds a bit of water at the very least.  With more time & experience, all songs continue to grow, and performances more often than not, become even stronger than we first hear them.  Put them brakes on a bit there friend-o…you’re taking the time to write some great tunes, and in my opinion, you owe it to yourself to get the best out of’em.  Lyrically, I think “One More Thing” has some really stellar stuff going on in its downtrodden demeanor – it’s melancholy AF if not outright SAD, but it’s also grounded, vulnerable, real, and intensely relatable.  I’d be cautious of words like ‘snafu’ that we don’t really tend to hear too often, but I don’t expect everybody out there to feel the same I do on that subject.  I think writers and songwriters tend to get excited about using words we don’t run into that much, without really realizing how much that tends to stand out and take us out of the moment as consumers as we probably should.  That being said, I don’t know too many writers that don’t do that stuff at some point along the way, myself included.  All-in-all, I really like where “One More Thing” is heading…I think it’s even a bit more unique than “At The End Of The Road” is too, and if/when the final product is ever produced, I’d imagine I’ll like it even better.

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