‘The Death Throes of a Jaded Empire’ is Jack Cade’s third solo album. Written and recorded during COVID-19 enforced lockdown, the subject matter is stark and well-observed, and while he never once mentions the term Brexit Britain, his writings are clearly inspired by events leading up to and after the 2016 referendum.
Cade’s music can never be described as commercial or pandering to the masses. His work is based on truth, honesty, and observations of the world around him. Often mixing hard-hitting lyrics with his gravel-edged voice, his sound is unique and definitely requires the attention of the listener.
Songs such as ‘It Ain’t Easy’ and ‘The Awakening’ explore the importance of truth and facts combined with the strength of character required to see beyond the propaganda and baseless lies often used in politics to further a point and cause division.
Sparsely recorded, the stripped-back arrangements mostly focus on Cade with welcome additions from musicians Ben Cox-Smith (dobro and slide guitar), Hana Maria (violin), with Adan Perry and Mark Tudor on drums and percussion.
Exploring the power of nostalgia, ‘The Amber Lights’, based on Cade’s upbringing in an already faded English seaside holiday town is an example of how easy it is for people to look to the past to escape their present and how it can influence their decision making regarding their future.
Herd mentality and how easily people can be distracted by misleading statements using them to justify their actions and settle their conscience appears to be the inspiration behind the intriguing ‘What Do The People Say’.
Calling for better understanding and healing, regardless of old divisions is the theme of the more upbeat ‘Saviours & Saints’, while ‘Deep Blue Sea’ provides reassurance that no matter what the outcome there will always be somewhere there for you.
Born out of Cade’s own need to re-evaluate some long-established thoughts and theories he once knew as truths, combined with the impact of current events ‘The Death Throes of a Jaded Empire’ is a remarkably well-crafted album that’s full of deep insight into the complexities of the human condition. Crucially, never judging, yet always observing.