Ian James Stewart - Junk DNA

Ian James Stewart Junk DNA cover
Ian James Stewart
Junk DNA
Dangerous Dog Records
Ian James Stewart is a well-known songwriter, guitarist, vocalist & producer in his main band Strangeways. After a long time with Strangeways, Ian felt that the time had come to present his very own material through a solo album. The result is “Junk DNA”.
How does this album sound you may wonder. Well, Ian doesn’t do anything way different from what he used to do in Strangeways the years that Terry Brock was away. I know there was a “weird period” in Strangeways’ career, during the 90s & 00s, during which Ian had taken the leads and drove the band to more atmospheric, soft-rock & pop-rock music fields. That thing changed after Terry’s return even though with “Age of Reason”, their latest album, they have taken a turn back at their 90s & 00s sound.
Anyhow Ian has taken that laid back, clam, atmospheric, smooth, chill, soft pop-rock (with some blues rock bits here & there) music direction on “Junk DNA”. Long tracks, moody keys, melodic guitar solos, ease vocals and a very cool & tranquil atmosphere on the whole.
The things that I do not fancy on “Junk DNA” are the long tracks and the album’s overall running time which is about 76 minutes! Feel me?! No album should be that long and have long tacks for no reason. The nature of this music is to have short tracks mostly and never exceed 45 minutes of running play. This album makes it too hard to listen to at once. I’ve tried several times but didn’t make it at long last. It does have some fine tracks like: “No Water”, “If This is Life” & “Slow Burn Dance” but it doesn’t flow very easily and it doesn’t manage to keep one’s attention for very long. It would be nice to listen to some songs on the background while having a drink at a bar or chilling out somewhere but it’s too hard to go all over it without having your attention distracted by minor things around you. I just hope Ian gets back to work with Terry and mainly focus on the new Strangeways album using their great late 80s music formula.