He’s a music, art, and writing aficionado! Karl has been working as a freelance writer for more than ten years.
Through the richness of his music, Flamingo Jones keeps my ears open to hear the story unfold. A Cup of Good Smelling Coffee by Flamingo Jones is a synth-based album that incorporates a wide range of influences and musical ideas. This album’s sonic narrative is both aching and wistful.
The varied sonic palette that Flamingo Jones employs is one of the main features that draws me to this album. There are a variety of synths that glow at times and feel sharper and harder at others, but the different acoustic, organic elements that he incorporates into the music are even more intriguing. There’s a jazzy piano and a guitar with unique tones ranging from warmer and rounder to funkier, both of which add their own voices to the tracks.
Flamingo Jones adds introspective and soft-spoken vocals, but the lyrics they express have their own unique qualities that express some aspect of the artist’s personality, revealing a fresh perspective on the world. They aren’t long songs, but they have an emotional quality to them that I enjoy.
There are times when it sounds like New Wave music, others when it sounds like jazz, and still others when it sounds like something from the folkier end of the spectrum. This album’s genre-hopping appeals to me as well. The end result is a delectable auditory brew that will nourish your ears.
“A Cup Of Good Smelling Coffee” begins with a swirling mist of synths and a steady tick of percussion before a hard hitting drumbeat and a 1950s style ad voice over for good smelling coffee shape the music. A melodic synth line wriggles through before a thready line of sound is carried by a synth that looks like a shiny xylophone. Along with bright, slightly edgy sounds, a steady, distorted synth pulse and a repeating darkly trumpeting, sharp edged musical line move through.
The growling synth pulses have a dense thickness to them before a drifting segment with the vocal sample, the breaking beat, and the high flash of synth. Below the elevated elements, a stuttering beat and dark, hard sounds roil. I like how the shattered vocals weave in and out of the music, giving the track an oddly unsettling feel.
Warming rising notes and delicate chords are carried by the piano, while vocals float through the background and unique metallic sounds are accompanied by a full, fuzzy noise. “Flamingos Love Waterpools” begins with a gentle water flow and a full, caressing piano. Round, circling synths flare in a steady moving pattern, and the beat, along with a pulse of medium low synth and the gentle vocals, propels the track forward.
As a deep, shifting bass line moves in, I enjoy the hazy, relaxing sensations that pervade the music, as well as the intriguing percussion. A flaring synthesizer bursts into the music, and the rising, drifting line of synth that echoes through before the waves flow into silence has a serene flow.
As they say, “You can blame it on me,” the lyrics are a wistful expression of life changing and time passing. We’ll eventually leave it all behind; it wasn’t meant to be. You’ll never be able to feel the sun or hear the music.”
The track begins with a solid beat, followed by a smooth, roaming line of medium high synth that flows over the gliding drumbeat that shapes it. “Campfire Feels” begins with a wandering jazzy piano and then adds some funky strings and a high, distant sound to the mix.
As the ultra-cool guitar sound flickers in and out of the track, a floating, glimmering synth line floats over an open background. This particular campfire appeals to me because it is laid-back and jazz-inflected. It gives me the impression of extreme calm, which I believe we all need these days!
As the vocals move through the music, the melody is full, all-encompassing, and full of smooth touches. As “Stephanie Leaves the Marketplace” takes shape, a drippy, steady pulse and echoed vocals drift into open space, while the caressing, easily gliding lead synth glows.
The feelings in the music complement the emotional content of the lyrics. I’m drawn to the ringing, round guitar tone, which carries a soothing melody that adds to the track’s caring, dreamy atmosphere. A reverberating, echoing sound floats through the track’s open spaces before giving way to gentle sounds. Every aspect of the music is imbued with light and air.
The narrator asks, “Don’t you know I’m still with you?” The words have a wistful beauty to them. When he says, “As Stephanie leaves the marketplace, I see that look on your face,” I get the impression he’s referring to himself in another life. He remembers seeing “sunlight shining off the moon,” as he recalls.
The simple brightness of the laid back, relaxing melody is joined by the simple brightness of the laid back, relaxing melody as a shimmer of chimes moves along with round, metallic sounds as “A Gentle Agitation” comes to life with an easy going, sliding sensation as chimes swirl through the music and bird song is joined by the simple brightness of the laid back, relaxing melody as a shimmer of chimes moves along with round, metallic sounds.
After one more shift to a computerized, harsh sound, there is silence. Before a tech-y round and distorted synth and cascading, singing full sounds like tuned metal shift with the steady throb of the drums, the track begins with gentle, shifting piano chords and splashing sound.
The soft, whispering voice of Flamingo Jones moves through the open background. I like the impressions of a despondent and lonely wanderer who is tempted to give up. As a flow of wind blows through the track, a smooth and easily throbbing beat shifts beneath a slightly twangy and jazzy guitar to begin “An Evening Stroll.”
Over the smooth drums, full, slightly shadowed synths drift, and the beat grows stronger under descending piano chords. As a fuzzy guitar tone carries notes that extend into the track, the tempo picks up, giving the track more energy.
The lines that begin “join me for an evening stroll” and end “join me out here in the cold…join me out here among the ghosts” are filled with a sense of emptiness and desolation. The lyrics of this song are filled with a profound, deep sadness.
In the verse, “You can rest upon the ground and sleep forever when you’ve found me,” there’s a sense of peace and resignation, and even a sense of something inviting in the words, “We can talk oh so profoundly, sleep forever now you’ve found me.”
As a medium-high synth and a hollow reverberating sound shifts in the background, the percussion slowly shapes the track. The airy rush of “The Lure Of The Ice Flats” is brought to life by icy winds blowing over the steady ticking of the drums, while clouds of warmer sound flow around it.
The drums glide along with a gentle touch as a glitchy, static sounding line wriggles through the track over the onrushing air. The soothing, all-encompassing guitar chords that slide into the music captivate me. Over the beat that moves in and out of the music, an elevated synth calls out, full and roaming.
It has a distinct sound and a wistful, varied, and emotive musical landscape that is laid out in a unique and appealing manner. A Cup Of Good Smelling Coffee is a unique and intriguing synth-based music collection.