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Jono - Life CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.90 | 42 ratings

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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 sceptical 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)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |


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