David Judson Clemmons and the Fullbliss - Yes Sir

Bruce Turnbull 09/07/2007

Rating: 5/5

A flowering career characterised by his insightful, relative storytelling and intelligent song-writing has brought multi-instrumentalist David Judson Clemmons and his clan of wandering rovers named The Fullbliss to their 10th album in 12 years; an album that is a veritable rainbow as full of pathos and elation, as it is sunshine and rain.

There is something so quietly humbling about Mr. Judson Clemmons that makes you enjoy the music all the more; for one, his persistence and gratitude towards making this album streaks through the music like lightning, and with his day job as a carpenter, it wouldn't be so outlandish to consider him the 21st Century Jesus.

As a continuation of the sound created so magically on previous releases, “Yes Sir” bountifully explores the nexus of human emotions, sucking the light out of a dark, perturbing vacuum and filling the album with tales of lust, autonomy, love and hatred. David's simple, unstructured approach to song-writing brings a new dimension of sound to an album that could have so easily have been dormant; using his voice as an instrument in which to channel through his deepest aspirations and reflections on times gone, and times ahead. As possibly the most passionate song on the album, the opening title track serves as a platter of joviality, with a strong country vibe and a masked saturnine concourse, bursting with stories to share. Sparked by the death of his father, this song looks back through David's years as he contemplates his life's decisions, and leaves the track with a hauntingly obvious message.

Unlike so many albums of his species, this singer/songwriter can keep you captivated for an hour, with some brutally honest and immersive story telling ability and a superfluity of catchy, memorable choruses and engrossing melodies. “Our Houses” being possibly the most poignant next to the title track, it offers a sweat interplay of guitars and flutes in its striking intro before David's touching vocal sweeps away the music with a wave of sensitivity. Another drifting fire-light ballad that will woo anyone who dares to be taken under, “Someday” plays a little more on the country theme, with a tear-jerking violin introduction and a logical sagacity that resonates well after the song draws to a close.

Don't be fooling into thinking this a soppy album, though - forget it. Just feast your ears on the fast, biting jive of “Silicone City” detailing modern society's fall into materialistic domination, or the slow burning darkness of neo-gothic rocker “Cynical World” for a taste of mind being pulled by strings of battling condolence and irritation.

David Judson Clemmons and the Fullbliss may not be chart material. They might not be as easy to assimilate as James Blunt. They may not be as commercially manipulated as Coldplay. And they may not be as piquant as The Fray. But they are possibly the best thing to happen to this genre in a long time, and if feel you can undertake the challenge, and you feel you can lift your intelligence over the fence separating talent and mediocrity, you couldn't do anything more sensible than pick up a copy of “Yes Sir”. Time has passed on, and the Fullbliss are ready to enter your lives to sooth old wounds, whilst tearing you new ones.