Love Jones

2006-11-03 17:38
“Kicks” is brilliant. As a hard pop-rock single tailored for a general audience this side of MTV, it's got all the required elements: Hook, grunt, great vocal performance, and form production. And it doesn't even stand that far above the rest of the album.

Each song is hooky and glossy – at times a tougher-talking Sixpence None the Richer (“A Little Easier”, and the way singable “Out There”), at times a self-acknowledged nod to Dave Grohl's post-grunge kookiness (“Going out”) - all the time evoking the sympathetic but punkish attitude of young, energetic suburbians. When the collection does eventually seem to lose a little steam towards the end, it doesn't really feel like a let down, but more a calming down. Even on tracks that don't leave an immediate impression, for example the comparatively ordinary “Take this Advice”, there's a welcome confidence in the band's delivery that keeps things above the average.

They've also got the kind of rock band look that'll work if MTV is where they're going with this. “Miss Jones” and gang wear the traditional black of rock bands du jour, publicity pics reveal all manner of accessories, ties, belts and chains and tattoos, and their website carries dozens of pics of the band on tour – all the things really that go into the idea of being a rock band.

So you understand why the biographical comparisons to Foo Fighters seem a bit unnecessary. As deeply entrenched in the sound of American rock as we are, there's nothing wrong with a band just being what they are, whether there influences are obvious or not. If you wear the dress, by the products and speak the lingo, then isn't it just natural for you to be the sum of all those parts?

And who's to say that that's a bad thing? Love Jones have delivered a record that's as good as any American band in this genre. That it sounds like it came from there shouldn't be held against them. In fact, in this context, it's an achievement. Buy it.

- Anton Marshall
Love Jones enlist local rock guru Dave Birch to produce one of the best pop-rock albums of the South African year.

What to read next: Kalahari

damien 2006/12/04 8:50 AM
lovejones i love this band n i knw brandon rose ask miss jones about him
anthony 2007/07/27 10:17 AM
a plastic fabrication What biographical comaprisons to Foo Fighters? There is no comparison. And since when is the trump in music (either in listening or creating) to find a product that lines up with the American sensibility? You're right; that it sounds like an American record shouldn't be held against them, but it certainly shouldn't be the major redeeming factor. The quality of studio production has improved massively in South Africa along with a rapid drop in price and increased availability of studio equipment and software. Don't mistake quality production for quality composition, performance or writing. Bands like this are a dime-a-dozen in the United States. It's all good for a bit of fun but there's something reckless about encouraging people to pursue sounds and careers because they're 'just as good' as someone on the other side of the planet in a VERY different market-place and environment. Your review smacks of consumerist naivety. P.S. Use a spell-checker or change your proof-reader..
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