Jon Smith’s Voyages can be seen as a one man theatrical-pop orchestra.
Indeed, the 11 track debut album from the group (or man) has an old soul excitedly waiting to make its presence known despite its modern production and release. Every track is ripe with clear influences from acts like Queen, David Bowie, and The Beatles and Smith pays homage to these cultural legends in a way that only he can.
From the beginning notes of the first track, all the way to the outro on the last, Smith harkens his sound back to a much simpler era that could easily be found in the 60’s or 70’s. His sound is deceptively effortless and inviting, but underneath lays layers of fairly complex arrangements that Smith composed and performed on every single track on Indeed.
Hailing from Reading, PA, Jon Paul Smith is an artist’s artist.
He deliberately holds nothing back when it comes to his creativity and this gives him a sense of whimsical realism that pervades all whimsical realism that pervades all. Not taking himself too seriously, Smith is most definitely a very deliberate and serious person when it comes to composition.
“I tried for years to form a band," 23-year-old Smith confesses, "But I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I couldn't find the right people to play my songs. So I just played all the parts myself.” This is the double edged sword of Jon Smith’s Voyages. While he finds his niche sound and plays to that style beautifully, there isn’t much variation or influence from outside sources. That makes this a very divisive album that won’t appeal to everyone.
- Excuse Me
- I’ll Get Around to It
- Just a Pretty Body
- Heard it Over Yonder
- I Don’t Want to be Your Friend
- Too Hot for Me
- Divided Waterfall
- Keep Me Posted on Kathy
- Nothing Remains
Trying to accurately describe what Jon Smith’s Voyages sounds like it trying to describe the flavors of a finely aged and complex bourbon. Everything about it seems familiar, but there are many subtleties that make it unique and all its own. The same thing can be said about Smith’s music. There’s so much familiarity to everything that he does, but its been so long since anything has come along that sounds quite like him that it intrigues as much as entertains. Smith’s voice is incredibly David Bowie-esque in all of its tonality, slight inflections, and even accent. This sort of theatrical performance is extremely advantageous in delivering many of his lyrics, as his subject matter and word choice tend to be fairly straightforward which would otherwise run the risk of hitting listeners over the head.
Standout tracks include “Excuse Me”, “I’ll Get Around to It” and “Absurd.” These tracks pretty much encapsulate everything that is Jon Smith’s Voyages in both the good and bad ways. They’re some of the most infectious and catchy songs on the entire record and feature Smith at the top of his songwriting and composition game. Unfortunately, these tunes run a big risk of sounding too cheesy and over the top to a lot of modern listeners, so if these songs turn you off, then there’s a good chance that the rest of the album won’t be for you either.
Indeed is an album with an old soul. If you’re a real big fan of Bowie and The Beatles as well as a lot of Broadway style music and theatrics then this could very well be your next favorite album. Personally, I find this music at its best when one song every now and then randomly comes on in a playlist sandwiched between 2 very different sounding songs. This helps me appreciate Jon Smith’s Voyages creativity and uniqueness that much more.
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