First Look: New Jonny Album

 

 

The
self-titled album, due April 12 on Merge, features Euros Child of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and
Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake making “perfect partners.” Listen to an advance
stream of the record at the Merge site.

 

By Lee Zimmerman

Combine the talents of two of Britain’s foremost pop
practitioners and the result is Jonny,
an effusive album bursting with retro rock homage and the hooks to match. The
eponymous product comes courtesy of Euros Child of Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci and
Teenage Fanclub’s Norman Blake, the two of whom make perfect partners… a
pairing that on paper actually exceeds expectations in practice.

 

On the other hand, it’s hardly surprising; both artists take
a traditional rock stance in their day jobs, specializing in exuberant melodies
boasting the kind of choruses that are all but impossible to ignore. Not
surprisingly then, the album follows suit, as apparent from the get-go. Opening
track “Wich Is Wich” sets the standard, its giddiness and all happy-go-lucky
vibes beckoning like a sunny wake-up call. The eagerly infectious “Waiting
Around For You” suggests the sound of the British invasion, all Beatlesque in
its embrace. Likewise, the softly strummed acoustic guitars and hushed
harmonies wafting through “The Goodnight,” “I’ll Make Her My Best Friend” and
“Circling the Sun” provide a summery sheen full of country rock innocence,
similar in style to the Grateful Dead of American
Beauty
or the Byrds and Burrito Brothers in their prime. So too, Blake and
Child can’t resist tossing in a hint of silly psychedelia and the result, borne
in “Bread,” would likely find the Monty Pythons and Bonzo Dog Band nodding in
approval.

 

Seemingly innocent and innocuous, there’s no denying that
indeed this Jonny be good.

 

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