Thursday, 12 February 2009

Jonas - Sweet Dreams Guaranteed

A very modern, yet retro sounding set that will appeal to those who are fans of artists such as Maxwell, Eric Benét, Glenn Lewis, Seven, Jeff Hendrick, Connor Reeves, or even D'Angelo! The set also benefits from a mid-70s Stevie Wonder “Songs In The Key Of Life” flavour, and the keyboards on “Ebony And Ivory” (NOT the Wonder/McCartney song) really do hark back to those classic mid-70s sets on Tamla. This album was recorded with a great deal of input from QUALITY producers, making this a very major-label sounding effort. Recorded in numerous locations such as Copenhagen, New York, Milwaukee and London, Jonas spent time in the studio Stateside with George Nash Jr and Demonté Posey who have been long associated with the superb Eric Benét! This will give you an indication of how classy this man and this CD is! Suffice to say this is one album I know you'll he adding to your basket! The album kicks off with “No Need To Shine” which is rather much in a Steve Harvey / Pretty Terry “Set It Off”funky downtempo mode with some strong, blue-eyed soul vocals that are second to none.
The rootsier and Connor Reeves-ish downtempo “Love Letters” has a Raphael Saadiq element in the arrangement of beats and use of Hammond Organ, and the sax which blows in later is almost wistful and non-committal, making the song perfectly mould with the lyrics and tone. More uptempo but as still reflective and melancholic is the excellent “Not Compatible” - a song that really resonates with many people especially me as a person. Nice to hear someone else equally as befuddled with life as I! LOL. I am totally in love with the shuffling “More Than Friends”; another strong summer-time chilled out track with a lot of feeling and is also excellently performed. My stand-out track is the BRILLIANT Eric Benét-ish "Things Gotta Change", which features bass legend Pino Palladino and brass innovator Roy Hargrove, who has churned out plenty a good tuned in his time! The title song kicks ass in a retro soul way a la Redd Soul or Remy Shane (whatever happened to him????) The rootsy R&B flavour of “Miss Leading” is easily likened to Dwayne Wiggins' Motown album, think “Strange Fruit” or “R&B Singer” and you aren't far wrong! The brassy “Put A Spell On Me” will go down a storm on Solar – Mike Stephens will definitely love this one! All in all I'm not sure about sweet dreams being guaranteed BUT if you grab a copy of this it will definitely be satisfaction guaranteed.

Barry Towler

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