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Jonesy - Keeping Up CD (album) cover

KEEPING UP

Jonesy

 

Heavy Prog

3.65 | 48 ratings

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GruvanDahlman
4 stars Whilst their first album showed great promise and vision, this second album by Jonesy really allowed them to blossom. From the sort of humble origins, as dsiplayed through their crude yet impressive sound on "No alternative", to this, fully fledged progressive album, the steps taken is something to be marvelled.

The omnipresent mellotron gives me associations to King Crimson and Spring but whilst "No alternative" seemed to rely more on the sounds of others, this album is a far more personal affair. I would not claim that "No alternative" boasted overly complex arrangements, relying more on the hard rock side of prog. That notion, however, is eradicated on "Keeping up". Sure, there are hard rock passages on here aswell but the overall complexity and diversity is more to the fore, making "Keeping up" a much more entertaining affair. The mellotron is also augmented by brass and strings this time around, which also adds to the emotive side of the music. It is dreamy, yet not sleepy. All in all things fall into their places and the canvas is filled with the most delicious colours.

The most complex piece on the album is "Critique (with exceptions)" which is avant-garde, free-form and jazzy. The trumpet of Bown sounds as though they'd invited Miles Davis to play some spooky, off beat passages. I think that this track is interesting as an experiment and gives prrof to the fact that Jonesy was as elaborate, inventive, daring and unpredictable as any of the greats.

The other tracks are less complex but by no means inferior. I think, actually, on the contrary. From the opening "Masquerade", to the ever so beautiful and emotive "Sunset and evening star" and onward "Keeping up" is filled with great music. Inventive, bustling with ideas and visions. The jewel in the crown is the last track, the most epic and to my taste the most fully realized piece of music: "Children". The presence of brass, stabbing and hitting with extreme precision, and the lyrics in conjunction with the shifting sections of music means that this track is one of almost perfect progressive pedigree.

"Keeping up" is Jonesy's best album, as far as I am concerned. It may be that they never broke any new boundaries or travelled to far into the musical horizon but they made albums of great progressive music. Some critic once wrote that Jonesy was the best progressive band you've never heard and that is true enough. Their music, especially on "Keeping up", is just as great as other bands of the era and anyone with an interest in the origins of prog would do well to listen to them.

GruvanDahlman | 4/5 |

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