http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/jd-mcpherson-1353362646.jpg Signs & Signifiers

JD McPherson

Signs & Signifiers

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3.5 0
November 19, 2012

JD McPherson conjures the sound of Fifties-style rock & roll so lovingly that you can practically see Sam Phillips grinning from the control room while McPherson howls away in the studio. When he wasn't busy teaching art at a Tulsa middle school, the former punk rocker cut Signs & Signifiers using vintage mics, stand-up bass and slap-back echo for a sound that recalls raw mid-Fifties Sun Records hits – Elvis Presley, Charlie Feathers – as well as pre-rock R&B stars like Big Joe Turner. McPherson may sound like a purist, but he's a sharp songwriter, and his punk spirit and wry wordplay make this more than just a time trip. On the jumping "Dimes for Nickels," he laments a wallet­sucking affair: "Pawned a long gold chain and my Chippendale rocker/A sauvignon blanc and a Black Johnnie Walker." His loss is some sweaty rock club's gain. 

Listen to 'Signs & Signifiers'

Album Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Long Walk Home”

    Bruce Springsteen | 2007

    When the subject of this mournful song returns home, he hardly recognizes his town. Springsteen told Rolling Stone the alienation the man feels is a metaphor for life in a politically altered post-9/11 America. “Who would have ever thought we’d live in a country without habeas corpus?” he said. “That’s Orwellian. That’s what political hysteria is about and how effective it is. I felt it in myself. You get frightened for your family, for your home. And you realize how countries can move way off course, very far from democratic ideals.”

    More Song Stories entries »