Review Summary: A phoned-in side project from someone that has all the potential but none of the motivation to do better.
Demun Jones, one half of the alternative country/hip-hop duo Rehab, is one of the veterans of this unnatural subgenre. Rehab has been around since the late 90's, so Demun Jones has been doing this long enough to know his strengths and weaknesses, as well as what it takes to truly do this style well. However, that's part of what makes his debut solo record, Jones County
, so disappointing. Jones should know how to give these songs replay value, catchy hooks, or just any kind of excitement at all, but that's not what he did with Jones County
. More often than not, this record simply feels like a phoned-in side project from someone that has all the potential but none of the motivation to do better.
The biggest bright side that this album has going for it has got to be the diversity between songs. Perhaps an attempt to make a little something for everybody, and it does prevent the songs from blending together too badly. However, in creating that diversity, a lot of quality was lost. For example, the track "Boondocks" was meant to serve as a high-energy album opener, but instead it falls completely flat as Jones raps off-beat over the lackluster instrumental. He struggles with flowing on beat throughout the project, you'll notice. The track "I'm a Man" was supposed to be a touching ballad about his father and his hometown, but it ended up as the single most corny track on the album, featuring an intensely generic acoustic instrumental and some very cheesy lyrics. That's another problem that this album has, the lyrics are so unoriginal, stereotypical country, almost to the point of self-parody.
Not every song is a complete disaster, though very few of them are anything special. There are some tracks, such as "Lakehouse" and "Tannerite" that are pleasant, inoffensive, catchy songs, but that's the extent of what Jones County
has to offer. Otherwise, this record ranges from uninspired, boring filler to downright hard to listen to. Granted, since Jones has been doing this a long time, I'm sure a lot of the music that he's been a part of tends to blur together, making this album a little more understandable. However, that doesn't change the fact that, by all accounts, he should have been able to deliver something with some kind of substance. Demun Jones says himself, "There's nowhere on earth better than Jones County," but if this album is what he felt was appropriate to name after it to show his respect, then I'm not sure if I believe him.