|Album Review: Caleb Landry Jones — The Mother Stone|
Caleb Landry Jones
The Mother Stone
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You probably know Caleb Landry Jones for portraying Allison Williams' deranged younger brother in Get Out. Or perhaps for getting thrown out a window in 3 Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. It turns out Jones is a formidable musician as well as an actor, and today he released his debut solo album The Mother Stone via Sacred Bones Records.
Like a carnival ride, it takes a second to adjust to the album's sharp twists and turns, but you end up having the time of your life on The Mother Stone. It's a weird, wonderful opus. A psychedelic, nearly schizophrenic trip of an album, with Jones swivelling rapidly between different character voices and genres. It's jazzy and vaguely punk, but never at the same time. "Little Planet Pig" is a sweeping epic with cinematic strings and a touch of rock and roll.
But perhaps this is less of an acid trip and more of a wild dreamscape. The Mother Stone is steeped in influence. "Flag Day/The Mother Stone" contains part of a piano solo Jones wrote for Jim Jarmusch. He's vocally channelling John Lennon, and the musical energy of "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite", but the album wins in all the ways it's just slightly left-of-centre. It's not entirely Beatles-esque, – there are flashes of electronica and you can hear a little Tom Waits in the lyrics. Nor does it sit squarely in the category of rock or indie. Not in the way boy bands have co-opted and warped the colloquial meaning of those genres, anyway. If Jones' goal was to create something we've never heard before, he's graduated with first class honours.
"Nowhere Where Nothing's Died (A Marvelous Pain)" begins as though Jones is conducting a full-blown orchestra, before it segues into the alien lullaby first minute of (perhaps un-ironically titled) "Thanks for Staying". As the penultimate track, it seems to contain all of the character voices on The Mother Stone, each getting their own strange verse, their 30 seconds on the floor before the chorus plays them out, and you're thrust out of the striped tent and back into the real world. The Mother Stone runs long, at fifteen tracks and over an hour in length, but it wouldn't be an opus without indulging in itself a little bit.