Lee’s Listening Stack: Jonny – ‘Jonny’
Here’s an easy question. What do you get when you combine the talents of two of Britain’s foremost pop practitioners? Don’t spend too much time pondering the answer because it’s actually quite simple. You get one of the purest, most effusive pop records in recent memory, an outstanding example of retro rock celebration simply dubbed Jonny. Euros Child of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and Norman Blake of Teenage Fanclub make perfect partners, and its refreshing for once that a pairing which looks so good on paper actually exceeds expectations in practice. Both artists take a traditional rock stance in their day jobs, all effusive melodies with an abundance of hooks and choruses so catchy they’re all but impossible to ignore. Naturally then, Jonny’s eponymous debut follows suit, simply by borrowing from the basics. Opening track “Wich Is Wich” sets the standard, an unabashedly sunny display of pure giddiness and all happy-go-lucky vibes. Likewise, the eager and infectious “Waiting Around For You” recalls the mid ‘60s English invasion, and though it may sound like a cliché, it offers a purely Beatlesque embrace. So too, the softly strummed acoustic guitars and hushed harmonies that waft through songs like “The Goodnight,” “I’ll Make Her My Best Friend” and “Circling the Sun” imbue those songs with a summery sheen that recalls English country crooners like Bronco and Brinsley Schwarz, and in turn, their obvious influences in the likes of the Flying Burrito Brothers and American Beauty era Grateful Dead. And those with a fondness for some silly psychedelia should get a kick out of “Bread,” a theatrical aside that would have made the Bonzo Dog Band pass on their approval. Innocent and innocuous, Jonny’s still damn good.
– Lee Zimmerman
Lee Zimmerman is a contributor to a variety of publications, including Blurt, M Music & Musicians, New Times, Goldmine and Amplifier
This review appears courtesy of Amplifier, 50,000 Watts of Non-Stop Indie Rock http://amplifiermagazine.blogspot.com/