Fans of Laurence Jones’ previous album Take Me High beware. The Truth, Jones’ fifth studio outing, is something of a departure from that which you might expect. A step away from the more rugged sound which has seen the Liverpool born, Warwickshire raised bluesman soar ever skyward, The Truth is a much ‘softer’ offering that has its moments of brilliance amidst the ‘poppiness’.
Keep Me Up All Night is one such number. Its piano keyboard underscoring and harmonised backing vocals – both supplied by Bennett Holland – is s sure-fire radio cut that will have listeners tapping their feet relentlessly.
Harder edged tracks such as the opening What Would You Do, Give Me Your Time, Gone Away and the titular The Truth are where Jones really comes into his own. The growth and maturity of the twenty-six-year-old shows here is quite exemplary. The percussion and bass by Phil Wilson and Greg Smith respectively, along with Jones’ slick guitar work, mark these out as notable tracks of some merit.
If there is a problem though it lies in the fact that at times it comes across as being too polished. Three weeks preproduction in Curacao has knocked a little bit of the edge from things at times, with Don’t You Let Me Go and the closing Never Good Enough harking back to Mister Mister’s 80’s grandiose stylisation, rather than groundbreaking statement-making.
That said though, Take Me is so lyrically soul touching it demonstrates that Laurence Jones is not only growing as a musician but also as a writer of fine, fine songs. Can’t Go On Without You, too, is a beautiful offering of depth that ticks a soulful box and conjures up images of white sandy beaches, gently lapping waves and clear horizons as far as the eye can see.
The Truth is, as the name suggests, an honest album. A work of integrity, superb musicianship and beautifully delivered vocals that steers the good ship Laurence Jones to safe waters|: a nice album, yes, that retains a high water mark in his burgeoning pantheon but nevertheless a little too polished in places.
“The Truth” will be released on 9th March 2018
1. What would you do
2. Don’t you let me go
3. Hold me close
4. Keep me up at night
5. Give me your time
6. The truth
7. Take me
8. Gone away
9. Can’t go on without you
10. Never good enough