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“Helplessly I Fell” (single) by Jim Lord

Glowing with a melodicism that has unfortunately become a bit of a rarity on the mainstream side of the dial in the last ten years or so, the guitar parts that we find inside of “Helplessly I Fell,” the new single from Jim Lord, are undeniably the most important component of the harmony that the track is built upon, and even if you’re unfamiliar with this artist’s discography, it’s hard not to notice the amount of skill and experience he brings to the instrumental end of his latest release. Lord is approachable, richly poetic and exposed in a way that so few players in the folk, country and adult contemporary genres are willing to be in 2020 here, making “Helplessly I Fell” one of the great songs of its kind to debut in the year thus far.

Jim Lord isn’t just showing off his capabilities as a guitarist in this track; truth be told, this is some of the strongest vocal work he’s turned in since his 2000 record Hangdog Heaven. He’s demonstrated a rather reserved attitude with his verses prior to now, but that reticence is missing from this composition – in its place, we discover nothing but a willingness to be heard, and moreover, a desire to get this narrative across with a serenade as potent as any of the actual words are. Lord is forward and undaunted by the task set before him in “Helplessly I Fell,” essentially confirming his status as being among the more elite singer/songwriters in his peer group today.

With regard to the arrangement of the instrumentation in this track, there’s no need to debate whether or not the musicality in “Helplessly I Fell” endears itself more to a conservative school of thought than it does the contemporary alternative aesthetic, but I wouldn’t say that the song qualifies as a straight throwback to 70’s folk/rock ala John Denver and James Taylor. Lord is giving us as a lot of guts where it counts here and simplicity in the compositional framework where it matters the most, and despite the difficulties that come with striking this kind of a balance, he never sounds even slightly unprepared or overwhelmed by the ambitious nature of the music in this single. He’s come a long way since 1982’s Inside Out, and longtime fans will especially appreciate his development.

I only just recently started exploring Jim Lord’s deeper catalogue of releases again, but “Helplessly I Fell” is unquestionably one of his best songs to hit record stores in the time he’s been back in the spotlight. It’s been said that we’re living in a new renaissance for singer/songwriters, and to some degree, the reemergence of iconic indie players like this one only makes this theory harder for anyone to dispute. Even if you’ve never heard his music before, I encourage you to get out and acquire a copy of Lord’s Little Star and its cornerstone single in “Helplessly I Fell” sooner than later. Folk enthusiasts won’t regret it, and the same can probably said for anybody who loves a solid, organic melody.

Mindy McCall

The music of JIM LORD has been heard all over the world due to the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Records. Learn more – https://musikandfilm.com

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