Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Hailing from New York, rock band Jonny Lives! has readied their sophomore outing “Revolution For Free”. Fronted by Jonny Dubowsky, Jonny Lives! uses their platform as rock musicians to speak out for peace and the environment. However, they never let their lyrical aspirations compromise their yearning for listeners to just have fun. “Revolution For Free” expands on the Brit-grit and Lower East Side rock of their debut, “Get Steady”.
All the trademark signs of rock n’ roll reach out to grab you from the first chord of “Parking Lot”, a rousing opener with sizzling riffs and an undeniable hook in the chorus. An even catchier chorus awaits you in “Still Dreaming”, which resembles Weezer or Fountains of Wayne. “It's Not Your Fault (This Time)” is propelled by interesting chord changes and a fantastic bass line that interweaves between them with tasty precision. “If You Wanna Stay” couldn’t sound more radio-friendly, assuming we’re talking about 70s AM radio. The chorus in “Makes The Difference” is simply brilliant, lifted to lofty heights by wrapping a gorgeous melody in sweet harmony – may be the best chorus on the record. Those engaging harmonies can be heard again on the call to action anthem “We Will Not Die Quietly”, which also offers a taste of psychedelic pop rock.
After winning over your pop rock heart, the band gets a little too emboldened towards the end. “Your Money Or Your Life” is overly ambitious and tries to throw too much of every pop element into a single tune. “Vagabond Lovers” might have been better if served up with crunch, but its retro 70s bubblegum style just doesn’t gel with the surrounding songs. But have no fear – “My Favorite Song” is a strong return to form that quickly reminds the listener that this band can blend Partridge Family melodies with crisp modern powerpop riffs and make it sound ultra cool.
“Revolution For Free” contains songs exemplifying what good songwriting is all about, and Dubowsky’s voice sounds right at home on tracks like these. With just a couple of minor missteps, this album approaches masterpiece quality and is not to be missed!
iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 11
Jonny Lives! – Official site.
Check out the video for “If You Wanna Stay”: