JRS | Loss for Words

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Alex Lifeson - Rush Dream Theater Michael Schenker Ty Tabor - King's X

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United States - Washington

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Rock: Instrumental Rock Metal/Punk: Instrumental Metal Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Loss for Words

by JRS

Hard-edged, melodic, progressive instrumental rock that recalls the song-oriented work of Rush, King's X, Dream Theater, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Eric Johnson.
Genre: Rock: Instrumental Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Unearthly Ambition
4:37 $0.69
2. Dog Robot
3:53 $0.69
3. King Lerxst
3:57 $0.69
4. Mr. Negativity
3:39 $0.69
5. Ambergris
4:19 $0.69
6. Builder
4:46 $0.69
7. Cornfed
4:05 $0.69
8. Double Star
5:29 $0.69
9. Skyward
3:59 $0.69
10. Stadium Dreams
4:09 $0.69
11. The Anachronist
4:59 $0.69
12. Zeta Principle
5:39 $0.69
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
JRS - Loss for Words is 12 hard-edged, melodic, progressive rock instrumental songs.

Rather than shredding non-stop (which is fun!), I concentrated on writing strong, highly melodic and interesting compositions. Rather than being simple foundations for guitar histrionics, I wanted these songs to stand on their own.

I also wanted to introduce some variety on the album. Each song needed to have it's own distinct character. From the hard driving metal of 'Mr. Negativity' to the laid back southern rock feel of 'Cornfed', to the alt-rock influences in 'Ambergris', I think you'll find an engaging mix of music.

I'm very proud of the work on Loss for Words. This is without a doubt my strongest work to date.

About Jeffrey Ryan Smoots:

Jeffrey Ryan Smoots is a multi-instrumentalist and composer residing in Washington state.

Jeffrey's major influences include Alex Lifeson, Eric Johnson, Phil Keaggy, Ty Tabor, and Yngwie Malmsteen. Jeffrey is a fan of progressive rock, particularly bands like Rush, Kings X, Dream Theater and Fates Warning.

Jeffrey maintains an active presence on the web, hosting his own site (www.jrsmoots.com), as well as artist pages on MP3.COM and IUMA.COM. He's had a number one MP3.COM instrumental hit with his song "Intro", and has seen several of his other songs reach the top 10 in their respective genres. Additionally, his MIDI-based compositions appear on websites throughout the Internet.

Jeffrey has been spotlighted in Guitar for the Practicing Musician magazine. Jeffrey has written guest columns for several websites, including Guitar 9 Records, Insane Guitar, and Sounduser.com. He writes album reviews for the progressive rock website, Prog4You.com.

Jeffrey is endorsed by Dean Guitars, Peavey Amplification, Dean Markley Strings, Morley Pedals, Sonic Implants, and ADK Pro Audio Computers.

Jeffrey runs his own project studio (Sci-Fi Studio), and has done sound design work for Sonic Implants, including Sonic Implant's "Rock Webpack" product (a set of guitar-based sounds for use on websites and multimedia projects) and programming for Sonic Implants' acclaimed Blue Jay Drum Series and Symphonic Strings.

Jeffrey is signed to independent record label Fossil Records (www.fossilrecords.net).

Jeffrey's website, http://www.jrsmoots.com is the central repository for JRS-related musical information, featuring his popular free online guitar lessons, drum sequencing articles, streaming and downloadable audio and midi files, Jeffrey's bio, discography, news, and much more.


Progression Magazine, August, 2004. Review by Michael Popke:
"JRS stands for Jeffrey Ryan Smoots, a multi-instrumentalist do-it-yourselfer from America. And Loss for Words, the fifth JRS CD, is what Smoots calls his 'first guitar-oriented instrumental album.' No argument there, as this disc encompasses many of the musician's guitar-heavy influences, including Rush, Dream Theater, King's X, the Scorpions, Metallica, Dio, and Iron Maiden.

From the healthy power chords and staccato arpeggios that segue into a soaring melody line to kick of the album opener 'Unearthly Ambition,' it's clear Smoots isn't your typical wanker. No guitar-god cliches. No self-indulgent shredding. Just solid rock guitar that borders on metal -- all written, performed, recorded and produced by a classy player with few (if any) pretensions.

Most of these 12 songs are so strong they don't need the boost lyrics might have given them. And on ultra-melodic, smartly structured pieces like 'King Lerxst' and the Southern-fried 'Cornfed,' Smoots lets his guitar do the singing more beautifully than most humans probably could. This guy should be a household name.

Ratings (0 to 4 stars): Sound = 3 stars, Composition = 3 1/2 stars, Musicianship = 31/2 stars, Performance = 3 1/2 stars. Total Rating 13 1/2."

Strutter'zine. Review by Gabor Kleinbloesem.
"Multi-instrumentalist JEFFREY RYAN SMOOTS has a new CD out titled 'Loss for Words'. The album is filled with high class instrumental Progressive Melodic Rock with a Prog Metal touch here and there. It all sounds very impressive and the fact that Jeffrey did everything on his own is making this CD even more interesting. Songs like "Unearthly Ambition", "King Lerxst" and "Zeta Principle" are great instrumental Progressive Melodic rockers. Every guitar-freak should check out this awesome CD.

(Points: 8.0 out of 10)"

Dutch Progressive Rock Page, September, 2003. Review by Mark Hughes:

"Loss For Words is the fifth album from American multi-instrumentalist Jeffrey Ryan Smoots (or JRS for short!). Following on from the 2001 Despair To Peace, a classical album dealing with the death of a loved one, Loss For Words, is a collection of 12 hard-edged, melodic, progressive rock songs with the emphasis placed firmly on the guitar. Citing such six string luminaries as Alex Lifeson, Ty Tabor and Yngwie Malmsteen as major influences and being a fan of progressive bands such as Dream Theater and King's X, it is not surprising that the album features a lot of heavy, and one might add, accomplished guitar playing.

But, it is not all-out fretwork histrionics, the writing is strong, has a high degree of melody and features some interesting twists and turns that keeps the attention. JRS handles all the instrumentation on the album - bass, keyboards, even live drums (although there are some programmed drums in places). However, it is the guitar that takes prominence. From the hard rock, multi-tracked onslaught on Mr Negativity, to the proto-grunge of Zeta Principle to the harmonised melodies on King Lerxst, this album has the lot for any discerning fan of the electric guitar. What is more, it is highly original material to boot. Sure, the influences are apparent in places, but just as you think that a track is settling down into, for instance, a southern rock groove, it veers off at an expected tangent.

Although there are variations in tempo, personally I would have preferred a few more laid back numbers to counteract some of the more 'in your face' tracks. Ambergris (which, trivia fans, is actually the discarded linings of sperm whale intestines used in the manufacture of perfume) is the closest that you'll get to a ballad. With a keyboard/guitar intro that is reminiscent of Michael Schenker-era UFO it has a hook line that will sit in your brain for days. But mostly the solo guitar (which has a definite touch of the Al Di Meola's about it) is left to soar over chunky riffs that some metal bands wouldn't be ashamed of.

Overall, the album was quite a refreshing change. It was good to hear a purely instrumental album that focused on short pieces. Although my periods of listening to heavy music are getting further apart and 'progressive metal' leaves me all but cold, JRS has come up with something that little bit different that I am sure to want to revisit at regular intervals in the years to come.

Conclusion: 7 out of 10"

Guitar Mania, October, 2003. Review by Mike Sandomirsky:

"Every once and a while something very exciting happens in the world of Instrumental Guitar - an artist, usually a virtual unknown, creates something so fresh and vibrant that it sets a new direction for the masses to try and follow. To say that JRS - "Loss For Words" is that evolutionary link would be in my opinion an understatement. Loss For Words is by far one of the best releases to hit the underground music scene in a long, long time. Full of progressive elements and influences that span generations of recorded music. One can hear the intricate melodies of bands like Dream Theater or Threshold throughout all the compositions. Melodic sensibilities are showcased on all 12 tracks with an intertwining of sheer musical virtuosity and unique vision.

Loss For Words is an intense, melodic mix of progressive heaven. Mr. Smoots is an extremely accomplished all around musician. Handling all instrumentation on the CD with the guitar taking the forefront. Smoots melds all all of his insanely complex orchestrations together like a tight woven fabric to produce intelligent, complex music that is never pretentious. Never one to waste musical space, JRS knows how to construct an epic progressive composition that clocks in at less than five minutes.
From the get-go Loss For Words offers up some very technical, yet always melodic, well thought out compositions that strive to have something coherent to say. Every note of every composition is placed in exactly the right place, no excessive guitar wanking here, just perfectly constructed songs that take the listener to a unique destination combining influences from prog, metal, neo-classical, fusion and shred. All tracks feature exceptional musicianship delivered with passion and sensitivity. For all you tone connoisseurs, the entire CD is chock full of superbly crafted guitar tones in a nicely produced very good sounding package.

Highlights of the CD include:

"King Lerxst" - harmonized melodies, great guitar runs. A beautiful progressive smorg of guitar point, counterpoint.

"Double Star" - an introspective tune with loads of feel. A great keyboard/guitar intro sets this song up for some superb melodic soloing over a heavy groove.

"Skyward" - a fusion/Prog masterpiece. A showcase of Smoots all around musical talent. Tight delivery, absolutely huge harmonization's, shred soloing - what more could a guitar lover want!!

Loss For Words far exceeds expectation, bordering on brilliant. Anyone who is a fan of quality progressive music will find this release irresistible."

Highest Rating (5 of 5).



to write a review

Vince Vrbancic

This cd is a MUST HAVE to ANY guitarist / music lover!
Just from the sound bites Ive heard, I am allready blown away!
This diverse collection of guitar / songwritng mastery is a must have & will be a welcome addition to my music library.

Lance Zechinato (a.k.a. Goocher)

Outta the Park!
Delicious melodies, solid, groovy rhythms with lots of interesting meter changes, top-notch artistry & musicianship, and just really well produced. Wonderful work. It probably won't surprise Jeff to know that I immediately dug "dog robot" and "stadium dreams". You hit this out of the park, man. Bravo!! (Let's get Malmsteen off that G3 tour and get you on.)

Bert O'Dell(Progrock_Lover)

Excellent cd
JRS was on the Progrock Cafe(www.progrock.com) the other night(10/9/03) and the tracks that played were just awesome from this cd. He's a great guitarist and a great interviewee as well :) As I told him I wish this 48 year old would play the way he does. Simply awesome. The reviewers gave 8 out of 10 and 7 out of 10,I give 10 out of 10,cause he deserves it.