For as old as the concept of love is, there are so many sides to it that some are unfamiliar with. Love can be unforgiving, misleading, inspiring, and sometimes it finds its way into the most unsuspecting places. J.J. Crowne writes and sings authentic acoustic songs dealing with those types of love, drawing not only from his personal experiences but also around fictional people that could exist in your (mom’s) favorite romance novel. But it’s always the positive side of love that J.J. expresses that leads you to root for Another Day Of Love.
J.J.’s sound is best described as homegrown. While it’s a combination of the Beatles, R.E.M., and Jethro Tull sans flute, the guitar riffs and feel good vibes reminiscent of the flower giving Hippies people loved to make fun of add a unique spin to his messages. The focus is his acoustic guitar and his malleable voice that mirrored the flexibility of a lap steel guitar. J.J.’s vocal range may not reach as low as Louis Armstrong or high as Prince, but he can add enough frills to it in the details to make it seem richer. At times, he adds a cello or a sax as a supporting instrument but for the most part, they sound like they’re adding too many layers to a simple truth of love. It’s like covering a bouquet of roses with glitter and confetti.
About half of the EP deals with a personal relationship for J.J. and how an opportunity at love was missed. Whether it was timing (“Only Time”), forcing something that wasn’t meant to be (“Best of Intentions”), or the fear of embarrassment/failure (“Kindred Hearts”), love is a slippery topic for J.J.. But as you let the other half of the EP marinate with the beautiful, selfless side of love (“Another Day of Love”), the unifying power of love between opposites (“She And He”), and the healing power of love (“I Can Be the Wind”), you can’t help but root for J.J. to find the right kind of love for him.
The most heartfelt track on the EP was “Toy Soldiers.” I took the line “boys go and toy soldiers stay” to be a poetic metaphor for the coming of age for young men who aren’t yet independent men, leaving their child-like fears and tendencies behind as they take on what comes their way. The one weak point of the EP comes on “I Can Be the Wind,” as there is an awkward key change at the end of the song as well as less than smooth lyrics put together. Parts of the chorus seem to ramble on and lose focus.
J.J. Crowne puts together a simple EP that is a nice soundtrack to a weekend getaway to the cabin, but the kind that you do by yourself without your significant other. The tracks help you meditate on what love can mean in a relationship with great acoustic guitar melodies.
4 / 5 bars
J.J. Crowne – Wherever I Go
J.J. Crowne – “Wherever I Go”
J.J. Crowne – I Can Be The Wind
J.J. Crowne – “I Can Be The Wind”
J.J. Crowne – Kindred Hearts
J.J. Crowne – “Kindred Hearts”