On his latest album 'Theosis', folk-rock poet and genre-bending musician Reverend James Elmore Jenkins delves deep into colourful and avant-garde sonic territories, while still keeping his poetic, soul-stirring lyrics and vocals at the forefront.
The album opens with the fantastic 'Diapsalmata Blues', where a mischievous, funky guitar groove keeps things going as Jenkins delivers crisp, soaring vocals. The guitar work is the clear standout here, but Jenkins' pitch-perfect delivery makes the track a knockout punch right out of the gate. 'Of Other Worlds' features a more tamed guitar, crafting an easy, tranquil melody that makes you relax into the soundscape. After the fireworks of the opener, this comedown is a welcome respite that lets you focus on Jenkins' vocals.
With a high, eager riff, 'Gotta Be Lost (Before You Can Be Found)' instantly signifies it's going to be a banger. The track delivers, full of jazz- and rock-infused fire as elements crash and combine in controlled chaos. Jenkins rides the waves with rhythmic, soul-stirring vocals. 'Tree of Knowledge' scales things back to a relaxed, acoustic arrangement and delicate vocals that feel like a fairytale. The gentle, minimal track is a foil to the previous song's churning intensity.
'I Might Be The One For You' spotlights Jenkins' raspy, soulful vocals over emotive electric guitar strings and piano. The sparse backing lets his vocals take center stage, the musical elements working in service of the lyrics' aching romanticism. 'They Shall See His Face' returns to classical guitar, a warm breeze that's as tasteful as it is flavorful. Jenkins' vocals again work wonders on ‘Visions of Fire’, the track unleashes a blazing yet beautifully melodic guitar work that set the song's emotions aflame and the track ends the album on a fervent note.
Across its runtime, 'Theosis' showcases Reverend James Elmore Jenkins as an adept musical alchemist. He blends and bends styles with ease, creating a cohesive experience from disparate parts. Whether tender or tempestuous, his engaging lyrics and vocals tie it all together. 'Theosis' is a journey that sticks with you, proving yet again why Jenkins is a genre unto himself.
Whether you're already a devoted follower or just discovering Jenkins' work, 'Theosis' is an ideal entry point—and reason enough to follow this one-of-a-kind artist closely and stream the album to tap into his distinctive visions.