Mamas Gun - Cure The Jones (2022)

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    Mamas Gun - Cure The Jones

    On Cure the Jones, their fifth full-length album of original material, UK-based Mamas Gun hone in on their proficiency for deep soul balladry and intricately constructed midtempo grooves. Resonating with multilayered arrangements and an atmospheric wall of sound permeated with classic rock undertones and doo-wop sensibilities, the 11-song set finds frontman Andy Platts gently yet astutely delivering melodies assembled in precise concert with an organic instrumental structure.

    Mamas Gun - Cure The Jones

    On Cure the Jones, their fifth full-length album of original material, UK-based Mamas Gun hone in on their proficiency for deep soul balladry and intricately constructed midtempo grooves. Resonating with multilayered arrangements and an atmospheric wall of sound permeated with classic rock undertones and doo-wop sensibilities, the 11-song set finds frontman Andy Platts gently yet astutely delivering melodies assembled in precise concert with an organic instrumental structure.

    As with previous releases Golden Days and Cheap Hotel, the band’s utilization of vintage equipment creates an emotive ambiance that many retro-leaning acts find difficult to achieve. This is notably evident on lead singles “Party for One,” a moody groover that contrasts charming harmonic riffs with dissonant moments of jazzy nuance, and the slyly contemplative and coolly punctuated “Looking for Moses.” In each instance, Platts’ wide-ranging performances lure and enrapture without resorting to force or fanciness—instead relying on calm assuredness and authentic attitude.

    While a sizable chunk of Cure the Jones is downtempo and ballad-driven, numbers like the summery “Friends to Lovers” and the celebratory “Winner’s Eyes” balance the soundscape with shuffling rhythms and riveting guitar work. It’s the string-laden slow jams, however, that tug most poignantly at the heartstrings. The opening “When You Stole the Sun from the Sky” possesses a comforting melancholy inherent in the merging of sparse keyboard strokes and guitar fills with Platts’ yearning tone and earnest phrasing. Meanwhile, the more uptempo “Go Through It” retains emotional shelter via a swirling rhythm section and stacks of sublime harmony vocals.

    Terry Lewis’s tender guitar prowess and Dave Oliver’s considerately placed keyboard flourishes complement Platts’ vocal vulnerability seamlessly on the masterfully pure “Reconsider,” enveloped with a soft serenade of strings which close the number dreamily. Angelic falsetto tones convey the longing of “You’re Too Hip (For Me Baby),” driven by a triple-feel ballad beat, prominent bassline, and simmering keys. Contrastingly, the sophisticated title cut assuages with a subtle Latin jazz feel and memorable chorus driving home the love-spent message of fighting a losing romantic battle.

    Cure the Jones closes with the picturesque “Daffodils,” a poetic ode to reminiscing. The arrangement flows effortlessly, with brief splashes of harp and electric guitar rounding out a musical affair that’s both reflective and inspiring. It’s a satisfying conclusion to a meticulously crafted collection of songs that work in ideal tandem with one another while remaining thoroughly satisfying on an individual basis. Listeners who appreciate undiluted soul music with meaningful words are advised to set aside 45 minutes in their schedules, lay back, and enjoy this sonic cure for the jones. Highly recommended.

    by Justin Kantor

     
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