If there was a Brill Building in Los Angeles, chances are good that Rich Jacques would be there. Relocating to La-La-Land around the turn of the millennium from his home base of Pittsburch, Jacques has built his life around writing and producing as well as recording songs in his home studio under the name Right The Stars. His self-titled debut album, just released digitally, is a testament to the craft of creating songs that catch the ear and worm their way into your gray matter. This isn't the kind of chin-stroking seriousness and edgy artistic statement that critics tend to fawn over. It is, however, a noteworthy collection of thoroughly unpretentious and happily mainstream Fleetwood Mac-ish pop with a carefully honed rock edge wielded for some well-placed clout.
On Right The Stars, Jacques tips his strategic hand with the well-chosen inclusion of a faithful, inspired reading of the modern classic "Life In A Northern Town", the 1985 hit for Dream Academy. That song -- all big, memorable melodic hooks -- defines the modus operandi that Jacques brings to his own works. The radiant, uptempo "We Got It All", all snapping rhythms and crackling guitar riffs, seems made for the sunny SoCal environs while the tangled harmonies and soaring chorus of "House By the Ocean" have the dynamic presence that simply makes you want to reach for the volume knob and take it up a few notches. Recommended.
Right The Stars - "House By The Ocean" (from the album Right The Stars)
Right The Stars - "Life In A Northern Town" (from the album Right The Stars)