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The Brandeis Justice reviews They're Everywhere!

The Brandeis Justice

Saturday, February 7, 2004

by By Stefanie Tuck

Jim's Big Ego had better be careful, because soon his ego won't be able to fit through a door. Former New Yorker, lead singer Jim Infantino moved to Boston at the end of the 1980s to work the emerging folk scene. He played the coffeehouses for a few years until he decided he wanted something more. He was honored by the National Academy of Songwriters as their "Artist of the Year" in 1995 - the year he put together his band, Jim's Big Ego.

Since then the band, comprised of Jim on guitar and vocals, Jesse Flack on bass and Dan Cantor on drums toured all around the Boston area. The trio played coffeehouses, college campuses and just about anywhere that would have them, finding followers and just general lovers of the music they made wherever they went.

In 1996, they broke out onto the album scene with two different records that year - Titanic followed by More Songs About Me, which was re-released in 2000. Then they came out with Don't Get Smart in 1998, Y2K Hooray! in 1999 and Noplace Like Nowhere in 2000. They're Everywhere! is the most recent release from Jim's Big Ego, released in Sept. 2003. This album is full of fun tunes, interesting but amusing lyrics and a great sound, if sometimes a little odd. Having started writing in the streets of Boston, Jim's lyrics are very direct, sometimes moving, and always crazy. As some of his titles portray, Jim likes lyrics with "in your face" an attitude.

The title song, and first track, "They're Everywhere" has a smooth beat and great guitar sounds. The lyrics are all about the voices one would hear in their head, kicking off with the words, "I'm a paranoid schizophrenic/ with surround sound speakers." It then explores how he wants to talk to someone but can't because he is rather busy sorting all the information the voices keep giving him. A nice little guitar solo with the drums make this a very catchy song.

The whole CD has a sound that is reminiscent of Barenaked Ladies and the Red Hot Chili Peppers with a few ballads sounding like a funkier Incubus.

One of the greatest song beginnings is on the third track, which starts off counting off in German numbers. It then talks about a hot math professor that thinks he's a rock star, hence the title - Math Prof Rock Star!" All the girls in the class want him and there is always a line outside his room during office hours

"Asshole," "Love What's Gone," and "The Music of You" are great, and unexpected, ballads. They're funny, optimistic and relaxed, and they make you want to laugh at the absurd lyrics that miraculously stick in your head.

"Love What's Gone" is a wonderful song about remembering what it was like to be younger, and about a lost past love.

"The Music of You" is a slightly upbeat song about a girl who left the singer and how the only thing he wants back in his life is her music, her being and the happy times he had with her. "All I want here/ is the music of you," her scorned lover sings.

"The Ballad of Barry Allen" is fun and very upbeat with some funky melodies in it - all without mention of Barry Allen. The chorus is all about (surprise, surprise) another girl. Singing to this mysterious girl is a very big theme with Jim's Big Ego. The lyrics say, "And you say the world goes rushing by/ but it seems so slow to me/ and you see a blur around you fly/ but it takes too long/ it seems so slow to me." Some other good songs on the album are "Lucky," "Better Than You," "In A Bar," "Party on the Everglades" and "Cut Off Your Head." These guys have a lot of talent to tap into, and they should definitely continue writing songs because it gives their audience a great source for some good, hearty laughs. Definitely check them out for an amusing party time, and make sure to bring your laughing gas.