Review: Jon Amor – Stories From The Crooked Room

Posted on: Thursday, Aug 20, 2009

JON AMOR

“Stories From The Crooked Room”

(Number 31 Records: N31003)

A new release from Jon Amor is always eagerly anticipated and his new album, “Stories From The Crooked Room” – his first since “Unknown Soldier” in 2006 – sees the supremely talented ex-Hoax guitarist on top form, with his maturing songwriting, fine voice and customary great playing, here in the company of his regular band – Dave Doherty (guitar), Chris Doherty (bass) and Si Small (drums).

Whilst the last album took over a year to produce, this time around all ten songs were recorded in just two days in Jon’s living room – with the furniture moved out and the space becoming a studio – the approach has definitely worked, with the music positively sounding fresh and bursting out the speakers!

The album kicks off with the gently rocking breezy “Enemies And Foes”, with its catchy guitar hook and acoustic solo, heavily contrasted by the next track – the dark and wry tale of lust and seduction, “Stitch In Your Party Dress” – more fine acoustic guitar work here. The tough “The Rules” takes the pace up, before the masterful “Cut Through The Graveyard”, which rides on a lowdown Texas blues groove from Amor’s guitar . . . can’t wait to hear this one live!

The lovely folky “Oh Eloise” sees a change of pace again, with a fine vocal – as with his writing Jon Amor’s voice has become stronger from release to release. “Rain” is another treat . . . another track that is impossible to categorise, just a classic pop song, lovely harmonies, playing, etc. The uptempo “Nightjars” almost veers into power-pop territory . . . sparkling jangly guitar work and another great performance from all the band.

“Beautiful Trouble” has an almost “Norwegian Wood” feel to it, followed by the lovely “Miss Grace” – another hook to die for here, and another album highlight, with stunning acoustic guitar work. The closing “Even A Child” will surely be a highlight of the future live shows . . . building from its gentle acoustic opening, before Jon’s electric guitar crashes in as the song builds . . . wonderful!

The album was mixed by Jon’s regular producer Stephen Evans, who has worked with the likes of Robert Plant, Goldfrapp and Siouxsie Sioux; and mastered by former Hoax bandmate, Jesse Davey.

With Jon being a regular visitor to Telford’s Warehouse in Chester, harking back to The Hoax days, let’s hope it’s not too long before we see him ‘road-testing’ this great release in our area . . . another winner from one of the good guys out there!

GRAHAME RHODES

www.jonamor.com

www.myspace.jonamormusic

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