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JON MULLANE-Shine

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 25, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

What do you get when a Canadian boy from Halifax, Nova Scotia walks into New Jersey garage? Jon Mullane. His most recent album, Shine, caught the attention of Indie label, and keeper of the Jersey sound, Bongo Boy Records. They were so impressed, they signed him. jm3The ballad, “The One That Got Away“,  has a hauntingly beautiful melody. There are great changes, sweet harmonies, and I like the piano. The 1960’s pop song “Take Me Away“,  offers amazing changes, a cool guitar riff, a great musical hook, and hand clapping that has this track destined to become a classic. “So Into You“, with its wonderfully subtle guitar, demonstrates once again that less, is indeed more. The background vocals are terrific. The up tempo “Shine On Tonight“, has a nice groove. The chorus and bridge rock and the  synth gives this track a 1970’s-1980’s feel. “In Your Life” opens with vocals and guitar only, and adds some great keyboards. There are nice effects and harmonies.  “Born Beautiful” gives up some great changes and transitions. The guitar riff and vocals are great, and the drumming rocks. The synth sounds of “Body Rock” give it a fullness that supports the great guitar riff, powerful vocals and wonderful hook. Add to this the sound of horns, and you’ve got an amazing song. “Any Other Way” has a beautiful melody and some cool jm1acoustic guitar. There is a great bridge, but this track is all about the melody and the vocals. “Way Up” and “Way Up (Radio Mix)” are similar versions of 21st Century pop. The overlapping vocal tracks, cool guitar riff and solo, and driving beat, make for a cool tune, a surprisingly great dance tune! My favorite track, “My New American Girlfriend”  had me thinking garage pop-rock at first listen. On the second listen I heard a wonderful summer on the beach feeling. This Beach-Rock song delivers a great melody, and some great power chords in the chorus. The vocals are wonderful and the lyric contain soon to be classic lines-“she’s original, not so typical, a little naughty, but nice”, and “photogenically, schizophrenically, she’s broken all of the rules”. Amazing. The solid hook, dead on vocals, and wonderful background vocal arrangements, make this one way cool track. A wonderful song, that rocks all of the way through. Seems this Canadian boy has struck gold with his new American girl. jm2Shine rocks. It rocks Halifax and Jersey. Jon Mullane writes amazing songs with exceptional melodies. He has that cool, gravelly voice, and subtle approach to instrumentation. His passion for 1960’s pop and 1970’s garage create a near perfect hybrid  of garage-pop. And he looks the part. White t shirt, jeans, and a bit of a snarl that reminds me of early Springsteen. But Mullane is his own force to be reckoned with. With three singles already lifted from the album-My New American Girl, Body Rock, and Any Other Way, and several more to chose from, Great things are happening for Jon, and I anticipate many more. With Bongo Boy Records behind him, I am certain they will come. A great writer, a great musician, a great album. One of the coolest albums I have had the good fortune to have listened to. Congratulations, Jon. Well done. Definitely one for your collection and your car. You can listen to Jon Mullane: https://myspace.com/jonmullane bb Check out Jon and other great artists at:  http://www.bongoboyrecords.com         newlogo https://icantbelievemyearz.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/review-archives/ Follow us on twitter:

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JANN KLOSE-Mosaic

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

jk2Well. Well. Well. I have listened to Mosaic, the latest album by Jann Klose, for the third time.  At first I was not sure what to make of it.  It simply defies genre.  The album is off the beaten path, and as eclectic as any I have heard. The reggae beat of “Make It Better“, the Irish folk ballad style of “On & On“, the Calypso influence of “Four Leaf Clover“, and the southern Roots feel of “Beautiful One“, make this a true mosaic of music.

Jann Klose writes songs with beautiful melodies, and wonderful changes and transitions. His lyrics speak of love, and love lost. The instrumentation, as diverse as his musical stylings includes great 1960’s organ, maracas, violin, flute and oboe, and I think I heard an accordion and some vibes, and electric piano. The arrangements are flawless, with beautifully woven harmonies. And, I find, Jann does not end songs. Somehow he leaves them hanging there after they stop. Very cool. Yes, this guy can write.

jk3Not just another singer/songwriter, this German now living in New York, comes from the same mold as Scott Walker and Tim Buckley.  Jann Klose is a story teller. An artist who paints with music and words. His vocals are outstanding, powerful, yet filled with emotional fragility. The acapella version of Tim Buckley’s “Song To The Siren“, devastatingly beautiful.

jk1My favorite song on the album, “Long Goodbye“, kills. This quintessential pop-rock song, contains everything: great melody, awesome guitar riffs and solo, powerful drumming, amazing vocals, and a way cool organ. Jann’s voice conveys so much emotion, one can feel his desperation.

I am not certain why this man is not a household name. The album, as exceptional as it is, throws more at you with each listen. It is timeless, as any good piece of music should be. Go listen to Mosaic now. Listen a few more times. Buy it. You will want to listen again, and again. Mosaic is that good.

You can listen to Mosaic:  http://jannklose.com/audio/mosaic/

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THE TONIKS-Rise And Shine

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2013 by TheManicBlogger

It was May 2013, that I first “reviewedThe Toniks. I had stumbled upon this UK band  while traversing the assorted music sites that I regularly search, looking for new music. At the time, they were working on completing their debut album and touring Europe and Canada. I did not get to see them on the Canadian leg of their tour, but I have been following them very closely after making contact with drummer, Colin Marshall.

toniks2And then, two days ago, thanks to Colin, I received my advance copy of the completed album, Rise And Shine. Produced by Graham Dominy and released on the Indie label Smile Records, the album contains ten tracks, six of which I had not heard before.

The title track has been re-mixed. With an almost acapella introduction and the addition of horns and strings, the song has taken on additional layers of pop poetry. The great trademark harmonies, wonderful hook and flawless drumming, had me wondering where the Go Go dancers were. “Won’t Let You Down” , brings subtle keyboards and a great use of harmonics. The catchy melody, augmented by hand clapping,  make this one of the better tunes on the album. The slower tempo of “Figure It Out” maintains an almost ethereal atmosphere when the strings and harmonies are added. The arrangements are wonderfully done as the eternal question “how am I supposed to make you happy, now” is asked. “Weather“, an upbeat number, pokes fun at interpersonal relationships while demonstrating the vocal range of vocalist/bassist, Mark Taylor. A light guitar solo and amazing horns are impeccably placed within the dynamic melody. “Simple Things“, shines with its stand out harmonies and production techniques that appear at unsuspecting moments throughout the tune.  “Never Real“, more of a power pop song, has a grunge feeling but maintains its pop harmonies amid a subtle keyboard influence. The screaming guitar riffs of “Secret’s Safe” create a punk rock song out of a pop melody. toniks3The great drum shots and driving guitars of Jez Parish and Tom Yates give this song the sense of urgency the lyric conveys. “There You Go“, another venture into power pop, uses heavy guitar riffs to drive the melody and counter balance the harmonies.  The 80’s feel of “Scapegoat” allows the band to play with production techniques. With great guitar riffs and a powerful bass line this tune is the darkest song on the album. My favorite track, “Wonderful Then” brings the band back to it classic pop sound. Jessica English‘s subtle keyboards drift throughout the great melody and trademark harmonies. The vocals are standout and the orchestral arrangements are magnificent. The song is a blast. Sort of Squeeze’s Pulling Mussells meets Badfinger’s No Matter What.

Toniks1Rise And Shine is Pop perfection. Not a bad track on the album. It will make you dance. It will make you sing. Best of all, it will make you happy. The song writing is exquisite, with simple lyrics about life and love and human interactions that take one to a more innocent and simple place.  These guys are amazingly talented. The music is insanely great The album is a wonderful time. Slated for a September release, Rise And Shine will be available on itunes and the band’s website.

The Toniks will be in Canada next on September 5, 2013 when they play The Shores of Erie International Wine Festival with The Walkervilles and The Sheepdogs in Amherstburg, On.

To listen to The Toniks, click on the link :http://www.reverbnation.com/artist/fb_share/3345498

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