Round Trip Mars
I previewed/reviewed the album here already but now it’s out in the world and deserves a bite-sized review, or a review-sized bite…
Sean James Donnelly (as SJD) is an artist capable of making music that you want to lose yourself in; it’s all that matters while you’re listening to it. You can perform other tasks, take in other aspects of life – but you’re not thinking about anything else, musically, beyond what you’re hearing. And what you’re hearing is a mixture of late-night soul and hangover-pop music; electronica and synth-pop combine, one minute it’s Krautrock-referencing then we’re almost at one end of the prog spectrum (the Robert Wyatt end).
For Elastic Wasteland Donelly is the only voice – instrumentally and vocally – and he, once again, redefines what SJD is (and what SJD does).
And though it’s never a competition I feel that, alongside James Milne, Donelly is one of the best – maybe even one of the only – New Zealand songwriters capable of offering something that feels like a Kiwi experience (in that it reflects – and reacts to – a certain worldview) but is also so clearly inspired by so many of the great songwriters. What you hear in Elastic Wasteland, once again, is that Sean has done the listening. He’s capable of the writing, playing, singing but he’s also done the listening. Every new SJD album turns you on to a new world that Donelly has created and lives inside. The songs here will have you hooked, returning to them over and over. That’s what we want from a great album right? That’s what makes a great album, right? Well that’s what I want. And I’ve found it here. Another great album from SJD.