Album review: JESUS JONES – Passages

JESUS JONES - Passages

Absolute Label Services [Release date 20.04.18]

Jesus Jones made a big splash in the music world between 1989 and 1991 with a series of hit singles, including ‘Right Here, Right Now’ and ‘International Bright Young Thing’, plus a number one album ‘Doubt’. Since then they have been touring, albeit under the radar of the casual fan of the band, and are now back with their first new album in seventeen years. Jesus Jones still have their original line-up intact as well, namely vocalist and guitarist Mike Edwards, keyboardist Iain Baker, guitarist Jerry De Borg, bassist Al Doughty and drummer Gen.

‘Where Have All The Dreams Gone?’ with its topical lyric opens the album in suitably impressive style. They may have been pretty quiet on the release front, but they are back with plenty of musical ideas and songs that will resonate with their fan base.

‘Suck It Up’ has been released as a lead single and a good insight into the band’s sound now, namely a rocking backing and the band’s love a of a bit of dance (or dance rock to keep you rockers on side!) The blissful melodies on ‘Chemistry’ make it another possible single release, whilst ‘One Day At A Time’ recalls the trippier times of the 90′s.

Those of you who remember Mark & Lard on BBC Radio 1 may think like me that Fat Harry White is guesting on ‘Rounding Out The Square Holes’, with his deep vocal tones. The song is another feel good anthem, in melody if not necessarily lyrically. The electronics really come into their own on ‘Stripped’, perhaps a little too much at times, still a damn fine tune though.

Jesus Jones may have taken a few years to get ‘Passages’ out, but it has been well worth the wait and an early contender for year end of best of lists. ****1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

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