Geoff Gibbons Goes Full Steam Ahead On New Single “Keep On Driving”
You hear the opening strains of the guitar work adorning Geoff Gibbons’ “Keep on Driving”, the chords perhaps, or simply the rippling of more than one track of that wonderful stringed instrument, and instantly you’re transported to the riffs attending the verve of the daring “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None The Richer.
Anyone familiar with that ode, its copious airplay in grocery stores and pharmacies multiple decades after its release, its attention in major motion pictures and their soundtracks, realizes that’s an almost ineffable compliment.
Yet Gibbons delivers on the duration of this three and a half minute ditty, following up that instrumentation with delightful song structure, heartfelt vocals, and just a tinge of poignancy in his lyrics to drive this one all the way—and back again, perhaps.
The music’s moving so much that’s it’s not easy, upon first listen, to distinguish just what the singer/songwriter (who pairs with fellow musician and co-producer John Macarthur Ellis on the oeuvre) is working with. Surely that must be at least one rhythm guitar in the mix. But then you’ve got the lead wending its way in and out, is that a harmonica you hear during the intro, something sounding like strings or is that a synth heading towards the hook…
Again, it’s difficult to say clearly, but it all coheres into a rich palette of sonic colors that brim, like a sunset a few strokes from crepuscule, brightest during the chorus. The chromatic sounds flare, the chords shift, and Gibbons holds little back as he elongates the ‘I’ syllable in his declaration to keep on driving. The effect is bracing, a descent on a rollercoaster, such a rush particularly in comparison to the buoyancy of the vivacious percussion that alternates between snatches of shakers, timbales perhaps, and some good old fashion effects on half a bar of the snare during the hook part.
Like a true raconteur, Gibbons ends things the way they begin, not with the breaking of a man’s heart, but with a desire to get beyond that, beyond most things, in his ardor to simply keep on driving. Where, oh where, could the album be? Hopefully not too far behind on the road to freedom.