Jon DeRosa
Black Halo

Released: 25th May 2015
Label: Rocket Girl

So much of the music in my collection is there as a result of hearing Steve Lamacq introduce an artist or band for the first time and becoming completely hooked, I keep thinking about the song I have just heard and need to find out more. That is exactly what happened when I heard the beautiful ‘Dancing in a Dream’ by Jon DeRosa on the radio for the first time recently, it is one of those songs that I don’t think you will ever forget the first time you hear it. If you have yet to listen to this song go and wrap your ears around it now (whilst you continue to read this review) and I hope you will share my love and excitement.

After falling in love with ‘Dancing in a Dream’ I had to go and buy the album on which it features. ‘Black Halo’ is the second album from Jon DeRosa, a singer songwriter from Los Angeles, and consists of twelve great songs that will appeal to fans of Scott Walker, Neil Hannon, Jarvis Cocker, Richard Hawley, Morrissey, and basically anyone who loves classic timeless song writing that moves every fibre of your being.

‘Fool’s Razor’ opens the album with a gentle guitar chord and vocals that instantly fill the room. The drums keep this perfectly arranged song together as it makes its way to a gorgeous chorus that will have you swaying in time and leave you feeling all warm and happy inside. ‘The Sun Is Crying’ is, firstly, a great name for a song, conjuring feelings of sadness and loss, and that’s before you even get into the lyrics that have come straight from the heart as Jon sings “So long Mary Ann I’ve run out of ways to be near you, and it’s no use waving at the moon, hoping for someone just to see you”. ‘When Daddy Took the Treehouse Down’ opens with a melody that instantly brings to mind ‘Heartbeat’ and builds into an adorable song full of reflection and harmonies that will never age.

Highlights are everywhere throughout this album including ‘Lonely Sleep’, the combination of nostalgic melodies and vocals are delivered in a dreamy way giving us a yet another song to cherish. There is a slightly darker and sinister sound on ‘Knock Once’ and it is probably on this song more than any other that I can hear the Morrissey influence. I love the way ‘You’re Still Haunting Me’ builds into an epic chorus with uplifting strings and if anyone wants to know how a song should be arranged then this song contains the answers. ‘Black Halo’ is a two minute instrumental to end the album showing that this is an album that has been created with a great deal of thought, each song is in the perfect place within the album and this instrumental brings the curtain down in a classic and memorable way.

Yes, I clearly love Black Halo. Yes, I think this is an album that every one of us can find something if not everything to love and yes, I may be an over-excited music fan but that is the way I live my life; I hear something that has an effect on me like ‘Dancing in a Dream’ and feel the need to share my love and enthusiasm with as many people as possible.

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