July 10, 2023

Johnny Hates Jazz - Magnetized (2013)

Country: United Kingdom
Genre: Pop, Pop Rock
Label Number: IAMJHJ20CD

© 2013 InterAction Music
The first Johnny Hates Jazz album to feature original vocalist Clark Datchler since 1988's Turn Back the Clock, 2013's Magnetized, reunites Datchler with original bassist Mike Nocito. After scoring several hits with Turn Back the Clock, including the ubiquitous radio single "Shattered Dreams," creative differences found Datchler leaving the band to be replaced by Phil Thornalley for 1991's Tall Stories. That sophomore release did not fare as well as their debut and Johnny Hates Jazz soon folded altogether. After reconnecting in 2009, Datchler and Nocito conceived of an album of new Johnny Hates Jazz material with Datchler writing the songs and Nocito producing, as well as handling the engineering and programming. Thankfully, the group's new material sounds a lot like its old material, albeit with an added layer of maturity that only age and experience can bestow upon an artist. It also doesn't hurt that Datchler retains all of his '80s blue-eyed-soul croon and that he and Nocito have stuck with arrangements that have a classic '80s synth soul vibe. Back in 1988, riding a wave of MTV-era popularity, Johnny Hates Jazz were somewhat unfairly pigeonholed as a shallow, slick, and safe studio band. Admittedly, their smooth production style, combined with Datchler's knack for radio-friendly songwriting, was almost too perfectly suited for mainstream consumption. However, that style also masked an emotional depth influenced by such touchstones as David BowieRoxy Music, and various '70s soul artists. Here, Datchler picks up on these old influences as he lyrically ruminates on the past, most notably on tracks like the moody title cut, on which he sings "Have I come to make amends/Are old enemies now my friends/And are you here to be my guide/To heal the wounds that I bear inside?" He delves into a similarly poignant sentiment on the ballad "The Road Not Taken," in which he wonders "The things that I could have done/The songs that I should have sung/But it wasn't that easy/The times that I could have stayed/The love that we would have made/But it wasn't that easy." Back in 1988, Datchler sang that he wished he could "turn back the clock." Finally, with Magnetized, Johnny Hates Jazz take a long look back, but continue striving forward.

 tags: johnny hates jazz, magnetized, 2013, flac,


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