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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Popularity

  • reviewed by Russ Breimeier Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2006 1 Oct
  • COMMENTS
Popularity
Sounds like … the '80s gone 21st century dance rock sound of The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Under the Influence of Giants, and The Faint, reminiscent of classic bands like Duran Duran and Simple MindsAt a glance … as long as you're not expecting a lot of lyrical substance or deep spiritual meaning, this bright and upbeat dance rock debut from Jonezetta sounds terrificTrack Listing Welcome Home Get Ready (Hot Machete) Communicate Man in a 3K Suit Backstabber Popularity The Love That Carries Me The City We Live In Bringin' It Back Tonite … Everybody Start Burn It Down! Imagination

Hailing from the small town of Clinton, Mississippi, Jonezetta started out recording demos for themselves, purely for the fun of it. But it wasn't long before others started encouraging them to make their music heard, including Christian hardcore band As Cities Burn, who undoubtedly played a part in introducing Jonezetta to Tooth & Nail. After a bidding war, the label won by reportedly offering one of the biggest deals in their history for a new artist. The buzz continues to mount with Jonezetta opening for Mute Math on their fall 2006 tour to promote their debut effort.

Popularity is a fun effort, offering up that same terrific dance rock style that bands like The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, Under the Influence of Giants, Red Umbrella, and The Faint have used to bring alternative '80s into the twenty-first century. If you're nostalgic for some Duran Duran, The Cure, Simple Minds, or early Tears for Fears and Howard Jones, there's a lot to love in the irresistible choruses, groovin' bass, classic guitar licks, and just enough electronic effects to reminisce over post New Wave rock. And it's consistently energetic, only letting up for the bright acoustic-based pop of "The City We Live In."

The question is whether or not fun is all you're looking for. Jonezetta is not your band if you're seeking great spiritual depth, but if you favor instead stock phrases of getting down and putting hands together. The breakout track "Get Ready (Hot Machete)" hints at the band's beliefs ("We're bringin' bodies back to life/Just like we all were born tonight"), "Burn It Down!" is apocalyptic in tone, and "Backstabber" takes overly pious legalists to task, but you'd think there'd be more to a song like "The Love That Carries Me" than abstract loneliness. As with Family Force 5, Jonezetta sounds fantastic—now if only their songs carried more substance.

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