CD Review: JD Eicher – “The Middle Distance”


Yes, JD Eicher still has a band, and yes, they’re still top-notch, but with his forth solo album, “The Middle Distance,” released in May, the songs are so personal, so real, so individually focused, having it be a ‘band’ album wouldn’t have worked. At all.

This is an album about fear and failure; hope and belief; focus and finding what matters; and making it work.

The opening 53 instrumental seconds that start off the album build up to opening line, “There’s a song that’s still unsaid,” drawing you in to the world of someone who’s lost. Confused. Looking for the right path. It’s all internalized. These are issues we all have, conversations we’ve all had in our heads about romance, family, work, life. As the CD rolls on, the realization, the confrontations, the issues, and the reasons we’re on this journey all come clear (“Be Well” and “Lines In The Sky”).  So does taking time to focus on core beliefs (“The Middle Distance” & “Man of Faith”), finding what focus that energy on (in JD’s case, family, faith and his wife Cathi), realize it’s time to fight (“Not Everybody Runs”), pull it all together and realize what you have, and getting rid of those fears (“What We’re Not,” “This Love Is A Light” and “Not Afraid.”)

The album was recorded in JD’s home, using simple mixes, a great mix of falsetto vocals, layering and non-traditional song structures and it’s a solid ten-track, 40-minute album.  Favorite songs include “Be Well,” “Not Everybody Runs,” “What We’re Not” and “Not Afraid,” but the line of the album, for me, comes from “Man of Faith:”

“What if God were not one being doing good things
What if God were every good thing being done?”

I think it took me a good five or six listens to the entire CD to understand the concept of it, and when it all fell into place, for lack of a better term, it really blew me away how simple this CD was, how great a listen it is and how I think I could have written most album of this during many sleepless nights. Taken individually, the songs are very listenable, but in the album’s order, it’s a journey. And a pleasant one. If you’re looking for a new summer CD, JD Eicher’s “The Middle Distance” is my suggestion.

(“The Middle Distance” is available on iTunes or Amazon music, or from JD himself while he’s touring!)



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