Funny, I Don't FEEL Fine: a FAN Review...
By I.M. Wright
The long anticipated release of Jonas' 3rd album has finally broke. Below is a review of said artist's work. The opinions expressed in this review are of little to no worry or concern to said readership and are purely the opinions of the review board--Sonja, Jason, and Jonas. Here goes.
If you just got fired, been laid off, dumped by your significant other, dog died or truck broke down, do not, I repeat do NOT attempt to cross any Bay area bridge while listening to "Fly Little Hedgehog." You won't make it across. We liked the graphics...that's about it. I'm sure there's a melodramatic, ultra laid back, somber customer somewhere who's willing to pay for this, but I haven't found them yet. For a sophomore offering, it wasn't that bad... wasn't that good either--but that's just my opinion (and about 50 other friends and coworkers). But who am I?
Now for the the good stuff, Jonas' third album was much better. "Funny I don't feel fine" is a 17 track production putting out a thought provoking message. Jonas has obviously been influenced by religion at some point in his life because many of the cuts have religious undertones sprinkled throughout. I don't know if he intentionally meant to do this or if he was poking fun at that institution, but I liked it.
He opens with "Once Again"--very thought provoking with a nice hook line. Telling a positive message without being preachy. Needs a little more instrumental action to fully "bring out" the tune. "Clutch Me" has flashbacks of childhood when little folks were dependent on mom. Other thoughts were reminiscent of an old loved one or acquaintance. And now for some deep down singing from the heart, there's "How could you do that?" and "Alone tonight". I felt the grief with Jonas on these. Definite winners. Listeners easily relate to pain, suffering, and heartache.
This brings us to another winner--"When it Rains". Really shows Jonas' potential range. Listened to that one the most. As I share the cd with family and coworkers, "Rains" also gets the most questions as to who this artist is. The opening of "Christ on Columbia Ave." would also make for another great intrumental if it were fleshed out.
I brought the CD to work, and many folks listened to the CD or various cuts off it. From the git go, da brothas won't be buying ANY!!! Totally different audience grooving to different beats. However, the music did strike a chord with young to middle aged 18-34 year old white folks. They named off a bunch of artists who they thought the CD was a demo for--none of which I'd ever heard of. But then again, who am I?
Overall, for the "Funny" CD, listeners stated the beats needed more accompanyment, particularly vocals, to better develop the songs. For a 4 track recording, it was pretty damn good. the only artist I know who's gone platinum with a 4 track recorder is Oakland's finest--Mr. Todd Shaw a.k.a. "Too Short." We're talking $100k worth of of cassetts out the trunk of his car! This was before the "Born to Mack" album. Yes, even I had to call my West Coast buddies to send me a copy when I lived in Mississippi in the late 80's.
Jonas seems to be improving with each CD. I'm quite sure that if his latest CD gets in the right hands, he too--or at least the songs--will be on MTV's buzz clip... soon. Hey Jonas: Ever think about writing for other folks? Just a thought. Keep on keeping on. Much love.
I.M. Wright, San Jose, CA.