There was a time when cinematography led the world to believe in the romance of New York. There was an air of grace wrapped in a love story that was as captivating as the surrounding architecture. Sadly, cinema now sheds a much different light on The Big Apple with giant monsters fighting super humans, sleazy dealings in the underground, corporate conspiracy, or worse. The romance has been seemingly lost in this mess of over production. Add to it all the real life politics, economy, and general unrest and the romance is just a memory.
But out of Brooklyn, in the face of his own personal challenges, singer/songwriter Jeremy Bass has somehow reached into the heart of the turmoil and tarnish that plagues the present outside opinion of the sprawling metropolis, slides back the curtains, pulls up a chair and opens the window to romance with his latest release. New York in Spring transcends time and captures what was and what should be great about New York in eight memorable tracks.
Bass takes his training of classical guitar in Italy and his time playing the flamenco bars in Spain, adds an early Simon and Garfunkel lyrical sense, and pours his emotions onto his strings, paired with keys and horns in a fantastic, refreshing display of musicianship. He sings in classical, almost Parisian, sound in “Style.” The track is a walk on a warm day, seeing the true beauty of his city while gazing at the obvious through different eyes, “This is the season of the skirt and the wedding ring/the fashion model on the runway with the next new thing.” He goes on to sing “Brooklyn Bridge/a tapestry aloft on wire” and adds a reflective history of the Woolworth Tower. And this is not just an elaborate single on the release. New York in Spring is consistently as thought provoking as it is beautiful. He even throws in a striking rendition of The Beatles’ “Julia” for good measure. Capping off the record, Bass offers up the title track. In this finale, everything comes full circle with imaginative individuality in an otherwise chaotic, and admittedly mean, metropolis.
If anyone wanted to rekindle the romance of the city by way of classic film, it should be set to New York in Spring. It captures a sensation that is quite difficult to express here. It is honest, beautiful, critical, and magical all at once, much like romance. However you see it, Jeremy Bass has accomplished something great here. And I will leave you with this line from the title track: “There are a million ways to make/a secret city/all your own,” go find it.
Greg is a co-founder and regular contributor of Nanobot Rock.