Review Summary: If you're looking for a good time, look no further.
When I first encountered Jonezetta, they played with Anberlin to one of the most unenthusiastic and sparsely populated audiences I've even seen attend a show. The crowd was seemingly one big personal bubble, in which any sudden movement by anyone could supposedly result in instant termination by security. We were frozen. Lead singer Robert Chilsom said forlornly to the attendees at the end of the gig, "Wow, honestly, that was like playing a junior high prom."
The irony in that statement lies in the still, simple truth that Jonezetta is the most energetic dance rock acts I've listened to in a long time. Jonezetta's debut, "Popularity" is a strikingly convincing remedy for a good time. Musically, Popularity is a mind meld between Franz Ferdinand and the Killers, with a similar lack of lyrical substance. Amidst more-than-noticeable open/close hi-hatting, and surprisingly prominent bass grooves is Robert Chilsom's powerful and distinct vocals. Unfortunately for him, variety is not a toy he plays with, resulting in his constant wailing over the entire album. Luckily, it's an incredibly infectious wail, and gives a lot of power and energy to each and every song.
In fact, infectious is the perfect word to describe this piece. From the soaring falsettos and subtle synths of the opener 'Welcome Home,' to the repetitive and irresistible 'Get Ready (Hot Machete),' the band produces a tight and solid sound through the entire LP. The real highlight of the album is 'The Love That Carries Me' which sticks to the band's by-then familiar formula whilst adding different influences and a more diverse style to the mix. Songs like 'Popularity' and 'Man In a 3K Suit' are as predictable as they are enjoyable, which ends up to be the band's only downfall.
Chilsom's beautifully arrogant voice helps add spice to the vague and unintriguing lyrics, but it still can't save the fact that lines like 'Hey, mister big shot/You wanna take it to the parking lot?' have been done before, and they've been done a lot better. However, in the bigger dance tunes on the album, the repetitious lyrics serve good hooks and memorability (Get ready for your hot machete/Get ready, get'), even if they seem a bit contrived.
Conclusively, Jonezetta's debut "Popularity" is a plain ol' good time. If you're looking for something new in your library, take a peek, but if you're just looking for a good time: look no further.
Get Ready (Hot Machete)
The Love That Carries Me