Lifestyle Magazine

JJ Shiplett, Fingers Crossed EP Review

By Phjoshua @thereviewsarein

Canadian roots-country singer-songwriter and all-around good guy, JJ Shiplett's new EP, Fingers Crossed is officially available now.

The seven-song release hit the streaming world on Friday morning, bringing new songs and stories to music fans that had already listened to Waiting On The Rain and Freeman in anticipation. That anticipation was well-earned too with just over three years passing since he released his debut album, Something To Believe In.

We shared this quote in our post with JJ's 5 Quick Questions and Self-Isolation Playlist, but we'll share it again because it's a great quote from JJ about the EP, "Fingers Crossed is all heart. It's a collection of songs that I wrote, produced and put blood, sweat and tears into. All in hopes that someone listening, wherever they find themselves in life - can find connection in. That's always been my goal with music, find connection amidst the craziness around us."

Related: 5 Quick Questions with JJ Shiplett + Self Isolation Playlist Related: JJ Shiplett Releases New Single, Waiting On The Rain

When I heard the single and wrote about it I said, "JJ Shiplett is one of my favourite storytellers in music right now. The combination of his the uniqueness of his voice and the depth of feeling that I get from it when I hear him sing live, or on a single is special." After listening to the full Fingers Crossed EP, I stand by that statement completely.

In the opening line of Closer, JJ immediately sets a scene that I can feel myself in just long enough ago to make it nostalgic, "Right about midnight, in the back of a bar where you could still smoke cigarettes," and then I'm all in and I think you will be too.

It's the same on Stand On and Every Road and Northern Lights. This is what he does, and he does it very well.

Shiplett said that he wanted these songs and this EP to be about connection. He's a singer and a songwriter. On this album, he worked on engineering and producing. He put all of him into it, and it works. There's a quality in songwriting that's hard to explain or quantify sometimes because it crosses generations and genres and styles, but it's the same thing that a writer like Shiplett has or Gord had or Dylan has or Tenille Townes has that connects with listeners.

As a singer, JJ Shiplett never misses the emotion in a lyric or a song. If there's something to be felt, he's going to show you that he feels it. We've seen it live in a sweaty basement bar and we can hear it again in 2020 on Fingers Crossed. And if you've never heard JJ sing, I'm not even sure how to describe him best. Maybe it's a Bob Seger with a roots-country-folk-story-songs vibe from 40+ years in the future? Give it a listen and see if that makes sense or if you've got another comparison we can try.

At 26 minutes long, Fingers Crossed goes quickly. It will suck you in, tell you stories, and then leave you wanting more. Our three best suggestions for you at that point are to 1) Hit play and listen to it again. 2) Go back and listen to Something To Believe In. 3) go listen to artists like Tenille Townes, Jessica Mitchell, Andrew Hyatt, and Kelly Prescott who all offer great Canadian content that tap into the same kind of feelings.

Hit play and listen to the EP now. And when you're done, leave a comment telling us which song connects with you the most - or send JJ a message telling him. Enjoy.

JJ Shiplett, Fingers Crossed Tracklist

JJ Shiplett, Fingers Crossed EP Review

JJ Shiplett, Fingers Crossed EP Review

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