Album #316: Jim Bob – Pop Up Jim Bob

  • Released: 2020
  • Origin: London, England
  • Label: Cherry Red
  • Best Track: Truce

I missed Carter USM’s Jim Bob releasing a new solo album this summer. In fact, had no idea how much solo work he’d done. This appears to be his 11th or 12th album since 2000, and I haven’t heard one of them!

Pop Up Jim Bob, on my first listen, sounded fun but a bit throwaway. With repeated listens, I started to appreciate some excellent poetry and insight. ‘Truce’ is a real highlight, picturing the day everyone put their racial, political and occupational differences aside and just got along.

Other great moments include a 25-second ode to the year from hell in ‘2020 WTF!’ (“Your celebrities are stupid/Your politicians suck/Your promises are empty/2020, what the fuck!”), while ‘If It Ain’t Broke’ might be the best and catchiest musically. ‘Barry’s on Safari’ mocks a social media racist in the quirky vein of Half Man Half Biscuit, and ‘#thoughtsandprayers’ is a pertinent piece of satire, listing countless grim situations (many of them entirely preventable) and emphasising the futility of the title phrase as a response.

Another great musical embodiment of this strange and miserable year.

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