Jeremy Parsons’ second studio recording Things I Need to Say is a substantial sophomore effort from this Texas born singer/songwriter/musician and follows up his debut Doggondest Feelin’ with a release sure to garner him widespread attention. Parsons has been developing his craft for a number of years now with numerous live appearances and appreciative audiences are growing for his individual blend of good natured, insightful, and musically satisfying songcraft. His extensive interaction with live audiences is reflected, somewhat, in the new collection – these are songs earnest to communicate with the listeners and they are presented in a polished, warm-hued fashion. Jeremy Parsons’ Things I Need to Say is one of the more outstanding recordings in country pop vein I’ve heard in quite some time. It promises, as well, to vault Parsons to a higher level of public visibility than he’s known until now.
It gets off to a gently soaring start with “Makin’ it Up As I Go”. He’s obviously quite talented at taking on these energetic, uncluttered country styled numbers and the inclusion of traditional genre elements like fiddle bring the song even closer to that style. The vocal melody for the album’s second song, “Life”, is especially effective for conveying the lyric and the song’s heavy theme is tempered some by the beautifully wrought acoustic guitar playing. The gossamer like touches of organ underpinning the song’s melodic elements helps flesh out and fattens things more without ever slipping into self indulgence. “Burn This House Down” is another winning number with an inspired vocal performance and lyrics that own a common theme of popular songs, heartbreak and wanting to forget it ever happened, and makes it Parsons’ own. His talent for songs with conversational lyrics elevated a little by poetic flair is a hallmark of Things I Need to Say and hits a peak of sorts with this cut.
“Purpose”, by far the rockiest moment on Things I Need to Say, erupts on the scene with some blasting harmonica and raucous blues guitar licks. It has a pounding, urgent sense of itself from the outset and Parsons, with the aid of some well placed backing vocals, delivers a convincing rock influenced performance. It isn’t a pleasant story, but the track “Lisa’s Lost” is the finest song on the album for me. Parsons’ song does a painfully specific, outstanding job of depicting a life blighted by dysfunction of various kinds and the sort of threadbare, simple hope people cling to in such dire straits. The musical arrangement is on point, but the real highlight of the performance is how Parsons brings these experiences and losses to life with a deeply felt vocal.
A cymbal flourish opens the duet-styled “Decide” and the second voice accompanying Parsons blends in very nicely with the song. It’s arguably the best ballad-like (at least) number you’ll hear from Things I Need to Say. The album’s title song is another of its major music statements and definitely challenges some of the earlier gems for top billing among the songs on this collection. It has a virtual flawless structure and, despite songs following it, serves as a proper climax for this stunning thirteen song recording. Texas native Jeremy Parsons is on the move and only going upward from here.