I’m not sure exactly when it happened but pop has become a dirty word. In the same way that country music has a negative connotation or at least suggests a very stereotypical image, pop seems to conjure up images of a string of TV novelty act cash in, celebrity cross overs and endless line of indentikit dross pouring off of a production line on the outskirts of Croydon. Thank god, therefore, for Jona Overground.
On The Outside is a timely reminder that commerciality and quality do not have to be mutually exclusive. And album dedicated to slick, warm and meticulously crafted tunes that are aimed, refreshingly, not at the wallet, but at the head and the heart…and the feet. And through concentrating on the job at hand with exquisite attention to detail, the by-product is a sound that has a wonderful late night commerciality, a chilled club feel that leans more to smoky late night jazz bars than the wired in approach of mindless follower of street fashions.
This is pop with soul, an elegant sound with an eloquent voice that references the iconic singers of yesteryear and brings the sound bang up to date. Pop music seems to have been on a downward slide on late, maybe this album will draw a line in the sand, initiates it’s own year zero, plants a flag in the ground…a musical standard that sets a new musical standard perhaps. And if the pop revolution starts here, a least it will be one of refined taste and decorum channeled through Soho basement bars to the sound of martini’s being stirred.
I missed the album launch while traveling in France, but I saw them play to a packed Phoenix Artist Club at Caring Cross, only weeks before. Jona Overground are an absolute gem. Beautiful music, and cleverly written lyrics, from upbeat poppy songs (“Ba da Bah”) to soulful, reflective slower numbers. This is what we should be hearing on the radio, instead of the generic formulaic rubbish that passes for contemporary music nowadays.
I went with a friend 30 years younger than me. She loved it, and now has their album too.
Glad that there are others out there who feel the same way as me and like I say in the review, maybe artist like JO will set a new standard in pop writing and even spark a change in direction from outside the clutches of the balance sheet fixated, disposable product pop industry. Fingers crossed.
[…] wham… a bolt from the blue, well two actually. First the sultry late night pop-soul tones of Jona Overground hit the doormat and now Thea and The Wild’s debut album “ Strangers and Lovers” is weaving […]