New album review (and John Kerns review!) at Phantom Tollbooth
The Phantom Tollbooth is a Chicagoland-based online magazine that's been very supportive of me since the mid-90s. I just discovered a brand new review of my Insomniaccomplishments album at the Tollbooth page, and the text is below. Link to the site itself here. By coincidence, the same writer posted a review of the Kerns and the Hemispheres album on the same date! John Kerns, of course, being local Minneapolis rock royalty, and frequent bassist and collaborator with me (even on the aforementioned Insomniaccomplishments album). Link to the review of the Kerns album here.
4.5 Stars out of 5
Sleep deprivation, evidently, can be a good thing. Jonathan Rundman's latest album, Insomniaccomplishments, is equal parts theology, songs about family, insane genius, childhood memories, and in-jokes. Rundman can be described as an heir not only to Neil Young and T-Bone Burnett, but also "Weird" Al Yankovic. "December Chicago" is an acapella verse that oddly recalls Yankovic vocally, when the Weird Al is actually trying to sing normally. "If You Have a Question" recalls Sunday School teachings, and also nods to the idea of Christ teaching the multitudes. "New Eyes" is Over the Rhine meets Nickel Creek. Failed romance is the theme of "I Thought You Were Mine", but "Here at 2141" is the counterpart with its portrayal of domestic bliss. "Imperfection" sounds like a late night ranting (at God?) about ones perceived inadequacies. "Her Lip Balm", featuring toy piano, could be about a childhood girlfriend. "Nothing Downtown" is a bleak depiction of urban blight, and the decline of a neighborhood. "Daniel and Peter and Thomas" connects three TV anchors to their Biblical precursors, and raises the question of why anyone would take today's versions as more credible. Rock creeps out here as well. "I'm Alive and Sleep Deprived" is garage rock, while "I Saw Greenland" is darker, prog-edged rock with a droning vocal style from Rundman. "Dialysis Carpool" defies all explanation I can picture it being done by Frank Zappa, the Dead Milkmen, or even Cracker. A tongue in cheek tale of misery loving company. Rundman may have his best original album with this one. With the very occasional national press he gets, maybe this will be the one that gets him some airplay and sales to go with it.