As the voice behind one of SA’s most recognisable rock bands, it was always going to be hard for Ard to detach himself completely from the role he has become known for.
So, perhaps I was expecting a little too much when I expected something completely new.
At first listen, First Offerings sounds very, well, Just Jinjer. My first impression was that it sounded like an over produced version of their 2006 self-titled release (Which already felt a little heavy on the production end to begin with) or their Milk and Honies EP.
It was only when I took a closer listen that I could hear differences, subtle, but there.
For instance, there’s a lot going on in “Would it help” vocally, that might not have happened with Just Jinjer. A softer (if you can imagine Ard getting any softer) side of Ard in the chorus, a little reminiscent of Annie Lennox.
In fact, we are hearing a lot more of Ard’s vocal capabilities on a whole with this album. Sounds you may have heard from him on stage before, have now actually been recorded.
There’s also a lot more experimenting going on with other sounds in general, with the album sometimes bordering on a soft electronic feel.
A heap of guest artists, from Tumi (and the Volume) to John Ellis and Theo Crous also appear on the album.
First Offerings is definitely easy listening, with an air of idealistic love that is its huge redeeming quality