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Jono - 2017 Life

LABEL: Frontiers
YEAR: 2017


LINEUP: Johan Norrby - lead vocals * Johan Carlgren - piano/keyboards * Stefan Helleblad - lead guitar, guitars * Leo Olssen - guitars * Janne Henriksen - bass * Nicka Hellenberg - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Sailors * 02 Crown * 03 No Return * 04 On The Other Side * 05 Downside * 06 To Be Near You * 07 My Love * 08 The Magician * 09 Trust * 10 The March

WEBLINKS: Official Website | FB Page

This is the bands fourth album, which has seen them progress from the early pop/rock of their debut to the full blown pomp of 2015's 'Silence'. 'Life' is their first album for Frontiers and hopes are really high with this release. The band have steadily been building their profile and the two videos released online before this album's full release bode very well. So does this album meet up to expectations, let's see shall we?

The Songs
Their sound, now instantly recognisable is firmly established from the very off. 'Sailors' is full to the max of Norbby's operatic vocals and full on guitars, and keys that add that extra something to it all. I would say that on this album more than any other that Johann Norbby's vocals dominant throughout, now that's not a criticism and as a matter of fact it is the albums main selling point really. He comes across part Mercury, part Bellamy and yes, there is some Muse like doodling going on too, as it's all very grand and pompous befitting of the type of music that Jono play. Their music could also quite easily come under the broader progressive rock tag too as the arrangements are bold and lavish will many twists and turns. 'No Return' being a prime example of this, and I keep hearing Queen's 'Teo Torriatte' melody in there somewhere, which is no surprise really as Queen are still the bands main influence but with a slightly harder edge. Album highlights? Well it's hard to really single any one track out as it's all of an exceptionally high standard, but the 7 minutes+ 'Downside' is an exercise in grandeur, and the delicate closer 'The March' shows a rather different side to the band which comes complete with orchestration and a suitably dreamy, breathless vocal from Norbby. The production is again big and expansive without being overpowering, and performance wise everyone involved seems at the top of their game.

In Summary
'Life' is another complete success for the band. They continue to mature with each release, and now with a sound very much of their own, which is quite refreshing these days as just too many bands stick to a tried/tired (you make your mind up) and safe formula. Being on Frontiers will obviously give the band greater exposure and I'm all for that. Jono have been a well kept secret for too long. It's their time, and as long as they donít over reach themselves I can see these lads being a force to be reckoned with for some time to come. Essential listening and along with the new Geishas In Vitro album, 'Life' has brightened up my winter mood no end.

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#1 | gdazegod on December 22 2017 20:53:25
I expect to be breaking out all the Jono albums over Christmas. Pomp festivity.

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