MusicDish e-Journal - January 19, 2020
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Cheer Up - You‘ve Made A Great CD Mr. Jones!
Royal Jones: You Broke The Circle
By Jennifer Layton, Indie-Music
(more articles from this author)
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Artist: Royal Jones
Title: You Broke The Circle
Genre: Soul/Pop/Dance
Label: Independent

You need to fling yourself down the rabbit hole to prepare for this one. Why? Three words: Rick Astley Syndrome. Remember hearing “Never Gonna Give You Up” back in the '80s and thinking “Luther Vandross,” and then turning on MTV and thinking “Good Lord, someone gave Howdy Doody a recording contract”? Well, this collection of stream-of-consciousness Motown dance hip-hop comes to you courtesy of a guy who looks like he’s here to fix the refrigerator. Actually, going strictly by the CD cover, he looks more like someone who’s about to hurl himself off a subway platform. Cheer up, Mr. Jones, you’ve made a great CD.

This CD has one of the most credible street vibes I’ve heard in a long time. This man leads a colorful life. He opens the CD with “Sylvia of Boston,” a morning-after voice mail message from someone who’s been rode hard and put up wet. Then the music kicks in. Brace yourself. We’re going underground and experiencing what made Sylvia sound that way.

You Broke The Circle is a trip through dance clubs and time itself -- on “Echo” we fade into old-fashioned dance hall cha-cha-cha. On “Confused” Jones gets so incredibly Motown, I could swear I’m listening to Gladys Knight and the Pips. And I really mean Gladys Knight. Jones sings like a Motown queen. I could have sworn this was a female singer if it weren’t for the occasional dip into bass territory.

My favorite track is “Ride Out of Control,” a tribute to 70s funk, complete with a horn section and lazy, drawling rapping. The hook is the refrain, “If I ever come down, I’ll behave, I’ll be good.” I can easily imagine Chef from South Park taking on this one. Somebody get me Matt and Trey.

The bottom line is that you will move to this. Yes, it’s sample-happy and completely synthesized, but it’s bursting with soul. Make it your soundtrack for a Saturday night and see if you don’t sound like Sylvia from Boston the next morning.

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