Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lost by Jonny Guitar

hi there

"my bad" is what i believe the kids say these days when one has done something wrong. i got an advance copy of a superb album, was invited to review it prior to release and....well, here i am reviewing it the day after the release. whoops, and sorry.

i've been in the rather odd position, over the years, to have received numerous "advance" copies of works by artists, and this was all before your "leaked illegal download" business. i'm not sure how i got to such a position of trust, but it's a nice place to be, and i hope not to abuse it or let it down.

when one is given a work of art in advance of a general release one is usually expected to pass comment or otherwise review it. it is bloody handy, then, when the art in question is any good. it's exceptionally fortunate, then, that Lost by Jonny Guitar is, if not for all tastes, really rather good.

if we are in the business of honesty here, yes Jonny Guitar (the musical persona of Jonathan Granville) have known each other for, oh, 25+ years. well, known of each other i guess. we were at the same school but, alas in retrospect from our conversations of the last couple of years (the magic of social networks), moved in different circles. if for some reason you wish to proclaim or accuse me and this review of a sense of bias, well then so be it. it's unfortunate that anyone would think that, but if they do, off they go.

with that out of the way, on to the music. i shall describe it here, but as is the way of the world you can simply check it out for yourself, or moments from it at the least, as Jonny has done one of them streaming audio type things for your pleasure.

for those wishing to read what it sounds like prior to hearing, the best description i can come up with is that it sounds like a minimalist quasi-Giorgio Moroder production, taking a pyschedelic goth slant loaded with a sound that reflects an influence, though not obsession, with legendary 80s bands of our youth. still not clicking to hear it?

much of the album happens in if not a dark place then one where a brighter lightbulb is needed might be what crosses your mind. suggesting it is "doom and gloom" might be inclined to put people off, which would be a pity, as the resolution to most of the songs is, to borrow the name of one of the fine songs here, Perseverance.

a good deal of the songs, as is the case with the best of music, is borne from personal experience and to a degree frustration. whilst i am aware of the stories behind one or two of the tunes, i'm certainly not going to divulge them here. instead, i'll just stick with my reaction to them.

a good deal of this album speaks to me of the perhaps angst, but more confusion and to a degree frustration of our generation. born in the 70s meant that we weren't of the dreaming hopers of the 60s or the thrust into technology children born in the 80s. we are at a bit of a loss, really. we grew up with incredible events, discoveries and technological leaps, but the price tends to be the world is not quite how we imagined it would turn out. perhaps all generations are like that, i don't know, but staying on subject it feels like we're the generation to last experience the true excitement of music as social importance and life defining; these days it feels like it has become disposable and secondary.

not for Jonny Guitar, of course. he's one of the few out there that still believes in music, believes that it is important. as such, he really doesn't deliver "this will do" rubbish or things that might sound quite good as a ringtone.

sorry if this is more disjointed than my usual posts, but have to say i've got Break Down The Walls on the album on the stereo now, and man is it good. the bass is jus the business on it.

speaking of bass, if i had one complaint of the album, it's that i would usually prefer a more bass-heavy vocal on my vibes. Jonathan is certainly not your whiny rubbish, but not quite the gruff bass i tend to lean towards. a minor, obviously personal choice, grumble. i think, at least, let's see if he still speaks to me after reading that.

the tune i am playing the most off the album thus far is one called Hope. i started playing this once or twice more than the rest of the tracks because he was considering dropping it; not long after i kept playing it purely because i dig it. it's somewhat lighter in tone than the remainder of the album but certainly not out of place at all. got it on right now, enjoying it but my efforts to sing along make my comments about the vocal bass level earlier are making me think of a pot, a kettle and a conversation.

other than drawing your attention to the excellence of The Bed You Burned, an anthem for broken relationships that speaks to anyone with a bad relationship experience (quite a few of us, i'd imagine), i would rather leave you, and indeed encourage you, to explore the album for yourself. which i would have thought you would have done before reading this far.

getting down to business, and you can purchase one of them "digital downloads" of the album by clicking here, and indeed you can, if you are a member of the grand social network, follow Jonny Guitar by clicking here.

this is all a bit win-win for me, really. i want to see all those i grew up with do well, and i want to once again live in a world where music matters and is made by people who craft it as an art instead of simply manufacturing it. the two coming together is quite excellent.

at the risk of overkill, i really do hope that those of you reading this at least try the stream thing of his music, and if you do like what you hear give serious consideration to a purchase.

thanks for reading, and indeed at the risk of going a touch Swedish, thank you for the music.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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