Justin Jones: Fading Light | New Music Review

Justin Jones' new album Fading Light is an Americana opus, full of deep emotion, musical mood swings, and heartfelt playing. The album opens with a choral intro track entitled "Ghosts," which sets the mood for the first song, an ambient rock tune called "As It Turns Out." Jones croons "the money's gone, future too/many lost, in the name of few" over a cascade of vocal harmony and an organ-driven rock foundation reminiscent of the later Allman Brothers Band. His voice is full of feeling. It is at times rocky, at times smooth, yet always fitting in well with the aura his band creates.

The following tune, "My Father's Gun," begins with a delta blues-esque, slow and creeping mood. It then explodes into a full force blues rock song. I could do without that transition. Don't get me wrong, the song is good, but that moody and dark introduction ends too quickly for comfort. The album continues on with a mix of that same dark, bluesy, environment and a lighter side, consisting of percussion-driven rock songs. At times, the switch from one mood to the other can be the slightest bit jarring, but Jones always then brings the ambience back home with his consistent vocal talent.

The highlight of the record, for me, is a slower acoustic song entitled "Christmas Night." Sometimes I am caught unawares with a lump in my throat. Listening to this beautiful ballad for a past lover was one of those moments. Jones sings, "you held me close, with the stars above/we were too young then to know of love." This man can write. Another great moment comes along in the form of the closing track, "You Saved Me." I finished listening to the song, then looked down at my notes. I had only written one thing down for the track: "damn good song." I guess that about sums it up. It is indeed a damn good song, and the album is a damn good album.

In a world of consumer pop and rock music, it is nothing short of refreshing to hear a talent like Justin Jones. He isn't afraid to bear his heart in his music. Hopefully he and artists like him teach us all that fortune should favor the genuine.

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