Jackson Browne – Downhill From Everywhere (2021) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Jackson Browne – Downhill From Everywhere (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24bit/96kHz | Time – 50:04 minutes | 1 GB | Genre: Rock, Folk
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Inside Recordings

Nearly five decades since his debut album, the songs on Jackson Browne’s 2021 release ‘Downhill from Everywhere’ sustain the soulful intimacy of his first release, combined with a power and wisdom gained from a life pursuing positive change.

Jackson Browne has always been a seeker. Not that he’s opposed to writing a catchy melody or having a hit single (both of which he’s done repeatedly), but Browne’s always wanted his music to make a difference, to say something important, to express through his eyes the human condition. On Downhill From Everywhere, his 15th album, and first in six years, Browne is who he has always been: the earnest, bittersweet, careful songcrafter who needs to find truth and meaning. It’s a reality he acknowledges in the very SoCal opening track, “Still Looking for Something” where he admits he’s “way out over my due date,” and yet still searching for “something he can hold up to the light,” concluding that if all he finds is “freedom” it’s alright. Not quite strong enough to be the hooky hit he was probably hoping for, the first single “Cleveland Heart” is another typical Browne construct, about an organ he clearly thinks is at the center of human folly and triumph. While Browne visits Spain in the lively and Latin-flavored “A Song for Barcelona” and Haiti in “Love is Love,” he returns to American shores and rocks hard in the title track where the fruited plain, K street, and acronyms including the NRA, GOP, and ICE, reflect “man’s ambition and vanity.”

From there come more fundamental questions in “Until Justice is Real;” Browne, very aware that time is passing “like a fuse burning shorter every day,” is still urging his listeners to live a thinking life, to ask self-evident questions: “What is well-being, what is health?/ What is illusion and what is true?/ What is my purpose-what can I do?” One area where he’s seemingly found satisfaction is in his choice of collaborators. His core band, led by guitarist Val McCallum and multi-talented Greg Leisz, who adds the lap steel parts once played by David Lindley, has remained steady. Bassists Bob Glaub, Jennifer Condos and Davey Faragher join drummers Jay Bellerose, Mauricio Lewak and Pete Thomas in various rhythm section combinations. Recorded and mixed in Santa Monica, CA, by a quartet of engineers and four assistants, the sound here is live but exacting. As wide-ranging and socially aware as Browne’s vision can be, Downhill from Everywhere’s most tuneful moments come in the very personal, “Minutes To Downtown” where he ponders why he still lives in Los Angeles. His response in the album’s press notes sums up what still powers an album like this, which despite its downbeat title and only a modicum of memorable melodies, still suggests an artist on a rewarding journey: “You can love and appreciate and depend on a life as you know it but deep down, you may also long for something else, even if you don’t know what it is.” – Robert Baird

1. Jackson Browne – Still Looking For Something
2. Jackson Browne – My Cleveland Heart
3. Jackson Browne – Minutes To Downtown
4. Jackson Browne – A Human Touch
5. Jackson Browne – Love Is Love
6. Jackson Browne – Downhill From Everywhere
7. Jackson Browne – The Dreamer
8. Jackson Browne – Until Justice Is Real
9. Jackson Browne – A Little Soon To Say
10. Jackson Browne – A Song For Barcelona