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Jono Life album cover
3.92 | 41 ratings | 2 reviews | 22% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 2017

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Sailors (4:01)
2. Crown (5:45)
3. No Return (5:11)
4. On The Other Side (3:56)
5. Downside (7:26)
6. To Be Near You (6:56)
7. My Love (4:52)
8. The Magician (4:55)
9. Trust (7:35)
10. The March (5:05)

Total time: 55:44

Line-up / Musicians

- Johan Norrby \ lead vocals, composer
- Stefan Helleblad \ lead guitar, backing vocals, co-producer & mixing
- Leo Olsson \ guitar
- Johan Carlgren \ piano, keyboards, backing vocals
- Janne Henriksson \ bass, backing vocals
- Nicka Hellenberg \ drums

- Marcus Grufstedt / orchestral arrangements & percussion (10)

Releases information

Artwork: Johan Carlgren

CD Frontiers Music SRL ‎- FR CD 835 (2017, Italy)

LP Soulfood ‎- PRELP 148 (2017, Germany)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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JONO Life ratings distribution

(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(22%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

JONO Life reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rune2000
4 stars After two great melodic records as a band, Jono have managed to get some acknowledgement for their sound. After hearing the news that the band had signed with Frontiers Records, I felt a bit skeptical on the decision knowing that this particular label is usually keen on letting the artists keep their retro sound intact as much as possible (see some of the latest releases by Asia, Boston, Dokken, Foreigner, Mr. Big, Toto etc.). Seeing that Jono is still a relatively new band, there is still quite a bit of their style development left for them to uncover. Thus being signed to a record label that expects them to keep a specific style might not be the best thing for the band. This was of course pure speculation on my part, luckily this release turned out to be another keeper!

Life is another great piece of the puzzle in the Jono discography. The material here might not be as eclectic as on the previous releases. Most of the tracks are either slow and epic or heavy and mid-tempo but that might just be because of the frame of mind that Johan Norrby and the rest of the band were in at the time of the recording. I also noticed that the compositions on this record are slightly longer that previously with the average track length of roughly 5 minutes.

Sailors kicks things of with a mid-tempo guitar riff and the overall structure of the composition reminds me of the previous album opener Man Of Misery, which is a nice way of saying that Jono is back and the band is sounding as good as ever. Crown begins with some unexpected electronica sounds until the song returns to the more traditional Jono track filled with its share of twists and turns. No Return is where the band really kicks this album into a higher gear as we're introduced to one of the most majestic vocal performances from Johan Norrby and the overall instrumental arrangement really highlights his performance.

Downside is another peak from the album as the composition goes through many twists before delivering one of the strongest choruses of the album. The guitar riff, which dominates most of this track, is highly addictive and you'll probably catch yourself humming it a few days after hearing it. The rest of the compositions are all quite enjoyable and well-paced but I feel like they never top the two highlights that I've mentioned previously. To be honest, I think that a few songs like To Be Near You and especially Trust could have been trimmed just a little bit. But this doesn't take away from my overall enjoyment of this album. I highly recommend Life to everyone who has enjoyed Requiem and Silence. This album is definitely a continuation of those two albums but there is definitely a feeling that Jono are beginning to uncover some new ground for themselves and it wouldn't surprise me if their next outing is going to be a career defying masterpiece. We'll just have to wait and see!

***** star songs: No Return (5:11) Downside (7:26)

**** star songs: Sailors (4:01) Crown (5:45) On The Other Side (3:56) To Be Near You (6:56) My Love (4:52) The Magician (4:55) Trust (7:35) The March (5:05)

Review by kev rowland
4 stars This is the fourth studio album from Swedish band Jono, which started as a solo project of singer Johan Norrby (hence the moniker "JoNo"), who has been singing, writing, and playing music in various bands and projects over the years. This applies also for all the other members of the band. Guitarist Stefan Helleblad is a member of Dutch symphonic sensations Within Temptation. Drummer Nicka Hellenberg also played all the drums on Within Temptation's "The Unforgiving" and has an impressive resume involving bands and recordings. Both keyboard player Johan Carlgren and bass player Janne Henriksson are frequently hired for both live and studio sessions. Leo Olsson - also a busy musician - joined the band in 2015. The first thing I noticed was that these guys don't conform to what I expect from bands on the Frontiers label, namely that the music was certainly quite a lot slower, and that not only did it appear that more thought and care had gone into proceedings, but that here was a band that are determined to keep their own identity.

Johan is one heck of a singer, but although this may have started as a solo project this is very much a band, and a band who are out to provide melodic hard rock with some interesting progressive tendencies. Definitely more crossover than progressive metal, whatever anyone else says, this is a great mix of styles that is going to find interest with fans of Kansas and Queen. There is no rush to get through to the end, but instead the arrangements are layered, and while no-one ever forgets that guitars turned up are incredibly important, it is the keyboards that underlie much that is going on and provides the foundation. With a singer as strong as Johan, the band are able to take it all very calmly and can rely on him to hit the notes and then stay on pitch.

The overall impression is that here is a band at the very top of their game. I haven't heard any of the other albums, but if they are as good as this then I am going to have to seek them out. This is high class melodic rock that in some ways contains elements of the Seventies, yet is very much of the present day.

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