You might not have heard about Jon Allen as an artist – but you might have heard at least one of his songs in a TV commercial. The English singer-songwriter, who is doing a mixture or pop and rock music with a blend of folk, is quite an interesting artist. On 21st May 2021, he will his fifth album called …meanwhile. Here is my review.
Jon Allen – About The Artist
Jon Allen (or: Jonathon Allen) was born in Winchester, a city between Southhampton and London. Nowadays, he is living in the British capital. His career as a musician had some quite famous supporters. While being at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, Paul McCartney encouraged him to do keep on songwriting and Mark Knopfler assisted him after listening to his music in West London. In 2009, Allen released his debut album Dead Man’s Suit. The most well-known song is likely Going Home, as this has been featured by Land Rover in their international TV commercial campaign. Two other songs, the title track and In Your Light have more than one million streams on Spotify nowadays.
In the 2010’s, Allen added three more albums, Sweet Defeat (2011), Deep River (2014) and Blue Flame (2018).
Jon Allen – …meanwhile – Track by Track
The eleven track album lasts 40 minutes.
1. Blame It All On Me
There’s fire on the doorstep
Searchlights in the hall
What a difference a day makes
Just to think that yesterday we had it all
Blame me for the sorrow
And the dark clouds in the sky
You can say you’re justified
I’ll be your alibi
The first song of the album is coming with a really rich arrangement. Brass and strings give this track an almost majestic touch. The new title track for a James Bond movie? It would definitely be a worthy one!
2. Can’t Hold Back The Sun
I have so many thoughts and references in mind while listening to …meanwhile. The melody reminds of Beatles tunes. When Allen is singing with his powerful voice, it could be a Bryan Adams song. And if you are not as mad as me, you simply get a really good rock song.
3. Cruel Word
I’m in love with the sadness
It’s the devil I know
Now there’s nowhere I’m going
That’s why I walking so slow
I know it’s making me crazy,
I know it’s making me sick
It’s a dirty habit
That my heart don’t how to quit
The third song is slower and more melancholic than the two songs before. Just some chords by the acoustic guitar and a decent work on the drums and the piano is all what this song finally needs. It impresses with its lyrics and the voice of Jon Allen.
4. Looking For The Light
Looking For the Light is the song on the album so far with the strongest touch of folk music. The song is rather slow – beautiful listen.
Mercy is the first track of the album, which has already been released as a single.
But now I feel so small
With my back up against the wall
Give me time
And a peaceful mind
Give me mercy
Lovely, deep track, which beautifully connects to the song before.
After the rather slow part of the album, Suzanne is a more energetic track again featuring more instrumental involvement. A song about a broken heart, about an unlucky relation – in a not that melancholic environment.
7. How Long
How Long is almost coming with a blues music touch at the beginning, which gives it a lovely dramatic and deep touch. One of the best songs of the album to me – I just have to listen to it from the beginning until the end. Nice arrangement as well.
8. The Other Side
Help me find a way
Across the great divide
Make this doubter see
The other side
The piano is the leading instrument in this song, which is again deep and thoughtful. Great voice, great storytelling, great song.
9. Western Shore (feat. Sharon Shannon)
For this track, Jon Allen is joined by Irish folk artist Sharon Shannon, who is however just adding instrumental skills. The song is a praise of the landscape at the Atlantic coast of her home country – and it even closes with the sound of the sea and some birds singing.
In my heart the wild waves are crashing
I’m dreaming of the western shore
10. Hold On
The third pre-release on the album is one of the most catching songs of the album. Hold On easily comes with mainstream radio potential. Lovely listen.
Jon Allen closes the album with a rather slow track. The acoustic guitar and the piano and feeling to create a gentle trip out of the world of …meanwhile. Nice.
Jon Allen – …meanwhile – Spotify
Here is the chance to pre-listen to …meanwhile:
Jon Allen – …meanwhile – My View
I was really impressed by …meanwhile. Especially the beginning of the album is massive, but the songs thereafter are indeed a great listen as well. If you like thoughtful soft rock songs with a touch of folk, you should definitely give Jon Allen a try.
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