Thursday, 16 February 2012
Jon Allen – Sweet Defeat (Album Review)
I was going to write a review of the first Jon Allen album ‘Dead Man’s Suite’ (requested by a friend); until I went to his website to find he has a new album out.
A review of the first album would have been a little cutting, and although gently meandering through various styles I have to say it could be deemed a Faces/Rod Stewart tribute album for the most part. It also proved the theory of there being a fine line between madness and genius, some of the lyrics were touching and simply brilliant, others were rushed and frankly could have been written by a 5 year old. That said I couldn’t stop listening to it, and Allen certainly has musicality in his bones.
However, I’m reviewing the second album, ‘Sweet Defeat’. It’s a much more polished, rounded, and stylistically coherent collection. It’s bluesy while still having enough rock riffs to appeal to a wider audience than 60 year old Red Stewart knicker thrower.
Yes the album is a bit middle of the road, and it does have a tendency to sound like numerous other artists in both musical style and harmonically, but frankly if you listen enough to anything these days, what doesn’t.
‘Time To Cry’ and ‘Lucky I Guess’ both have a really smooth blues feel, and are perfect for Allen’s voice, while ‘Sweet Defeat’ has a well produced 60’s soul feel about it, with superb vocal harmonies. The standout track on the album is ‘Here Tonight’, a simple Paul McCartney-like acoustic number with moving lyrics and appears the most honest and true to his roots this album gets, however, all of the last three tracks on the album are streets ahead of the rest.