Jonezetta's signing to Tooth & Nail records was a virtually unknown and quiet event. There wasn't a big buzz surrounding them and it was probably months before they were even introduced on the T&N website. After hearing their debut album, Popularity, though, it is clear that despite the lack of fanfare, Jonezetta is one of the most important signings in label history.
Right from the start, Jonezetta lets you know what they're all about, and that's dancing. There may not be a better collection of dance hits anywhere, as each song on Popularity gets you on your feet. The fact is, this album is a real workout, because once "Welcome Home" starts, it's impossible to stop moving until "Imagination" (the last track) comes to a close. There are a lot of "dance bands" out there, most notably Hellogoodbye, but Jonezetta stands out above the rest. Mick Parsons' drum beats and frontman Robert Chisholm's wails are creative, catchy, and exactly what this genre needed.
"Get Ready (Hot Machete)" is a great song and the music video is even better. Sure, the video featuring a large crowd of people dancing in a ski lodge is far from original, but why it's so amazing is because it has people dancing, which is exactly what the song makes you do. It's not as if every track is constant bass and one wail after another, either. "The Love that Carries Me" brings a little piano into the mix and "The City We Live In" and "Imagination" take things down a notch. Here Jonezetta proves their versatility, proving they can provide a bass thumping good time at any tempo.
The thing is, though, not to take Jonezetta too seriously. "People take themselves too seriously. Music today has become such a downer," Chisholm is quoted saying on their official website. This view is evident in their music and especially their lyrics. In "Get Ready (Hot Machete)," their first single, Chisholm urges listeners to get up onto their feet and move "back and forth and back and forth again." In "Bringin' it back Tonite… Everybody Start," he says, "everybody clap - start when I say when," emphasizing the overall feel of the record that's seriously like a party that you can't help but love. But as the band states in "Get Ready (Hot Machete)," "Love ain't always a party," and this is clear in some of their other songs. While "Backstabber" is the only track that refers to God by name, the other songs carry important lessons that He wants us to learn. "Popularity," the title track, specifically dwells on an issue that everyone, whether they will admit to it or not, struggles with. Other tracks such as "Communicate" and "The City we Live In" touch on relationship issues that are easy to relate to as well.
Many people often view the Christian life as a surrender to God where you can't have any fun anymore. Let it be known though, that Jonezetta is living proof that the Christian life can not only be fun, but a constant party.- Review date: 10/16/06, written by Flip Choquette
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