Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Jeff Martin - The Kingdom

Growing up I listened to a lot of The Tea Party, to this day I have every Tea Party album, an honour that is shared only with Led Zeppelin, The Doors, and Jimi Hendrix. I have seen The Tea Party live on six separations including once at Cowboy’s for free (thank you Shane). In 2005 when The Tea Party broke up I was saddened, but I felt confident that something good would come thereafter.

Jeff Martin, lead singer, guitarist, and song writer of The Tea Party would start his solo career, and in 2006 he released his only solo album to date “Exile and The Kingdom,” most of you probably never heard about it, it received virtually no commercial advertising or support, but that’s why I do what I do every month.

“Exile and The Kingdom,” was not the finest album ever, it ranks a little less great when compared to the first four Tea Party albums, but right on par with their last two; all and all, it is a good 7-8 out of 10 album. The thing I found most enjoyable about the album was it FELT like Jeff Martin, it felt like part of his soul, I was very familiar with his works so I could just sense that every song on this album was something Jeff had wanted to do, it had his touch, his presence, it was authentic and pure, which would be the only possible complaint about the last two Tea Party albums someone could possibly muster.

The high point of the album has to be the final exert, “The Kingdom.” In a word, the song is beautiful, but also the song struck a deep cord within me when I first heard it, and now in a slightly different place in my life it strikes me again so sweetly.

Someone quasi close to me who also loved Jeff Martin and The Tea Party once told me, she thought the song “The Kingdom,” was so sad. I was baffled by her statement, I could not fathom how she managed to see something sad is something so optimistic.

Just listen to the lyrics and while the opening verse shares pain and regret, these things are given no more attention afterward. Jeff isn’t singing about past indiscretions, he is singing about wonder that is yet to be achieved. A return to fantasy, a great world laying in wait just ahead of us, and all we need do is step forward and embrace our wondrous destiny.

“Thy will, be done here. The Kingdom is calling you.”

The kingdom is calling you, makes me smile, I can’t help but feel a personal connection to those words. All my hard work and all my quietly and not so quietly done good deeds must have amounted to something, surely if I just reach out and accept what’s mine, it shall be so, and surely only something good awaits me.

I guess if we focus on our lives mistakes and only our mistakes, we could force some sort of perverted view of “The Kingdom,” as being a sombre song of sadness. But anyone who sees that is missing the whole point, “The Kingdom,” isn’t about the past, it’s about the future. For all of us a great future awaits, our kingdoms are just waiting for us to accept them.

Beautiful, simply beautiful.

Until next month, keep on rocking in the free world.

- Colin Kelly

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