JEFFREY NOVAK: Baron in the Trees: LP

By my count, this is Jeffrey Novak’s third solo record. Novak’s solo recordings are different than his Cheap Time albums. The solo stuff—and Baron in the Trees is no exception—has a heavy Canterbury Scene and Ray Davies influence. It’s a rich record on a budget (part of it was recorded at Jay Reatard’s house three years ago). A lot of thought was put into the arrangements (including a cello). Novak’s lyrics, at times, have a real playfulness/storybook quality to them that evoke Syd Barrett’s work. Baron in the Trees isn’t a record that fully reveals itself on first listen. I can already tell that—like Kevin Ayers’ work—this record will continue to appeal to me for different reasons for some time to come. My only complaint is the album’s a bit short—the B side is about twelve minutes. Brevity aside, Baron in the Trees is a solid record (with great cover art to boot).

 –ryan (In The Red, intheredrecords.com)