Though mass produced pop is not technically a music genre, people
know it when they hear it and singer-songwriter Jon Robert
is prolific at making it. Robert is a cross between Chris Daughtry's
middle of the road rock and David Cook's sentimental-tinged
folk pop. There is a trend here, both Daughtry and Cook were American
Idol contestants, and Robert definitely could have been a contender
in that arena.
His latest release Meant To Be has cornrows of attractive
guitar cuts and oscillating rhythms set to a dulcet timer. Produced
by Will Hurt, the songs are smoothly buffed making all the
yin and yang aspects in the tracks balance on a feng shui axis. Robert's
vocals pipe a Kenny Wayne Shepherd-toned register that makes
the folksy-webbed melodies feel comfortable looped in pop/rock hooks
and plugged into a modem that makes Robert a contemporary of Daughtry's
and Cook's pleasantly crusted rock.
The folk pop seams and modern rock stuffing in Robert's songs are
nursed from start to finish. Not a strand is left out of place. Soft-pop
vines are dusted by fluttering strings in tracks like "Victim
For Life" and "Back Home To You," while buttery motes
sprayed by the acoustic guitar produce poetic clusters through "Serena",
resembling Keith Urban's country-weathered plains. The guitar
flusters crackling along "Summer's Over" tack on thrilling
sensations through the tune that stir anticipation in the listener,
and the basin of tenderly brushed strokes of the guitar in "Fall
Guy" are plumped up in a tooling of billowy strings.
Robert's lyrics are personable, enabling listeners to live in his
words and feel his expressions like in "Victim For Life"
when he admits, "'Cause you give me this sudden reaction
I wasn't looking for you
I'll be your victim for life."
Robert's lyrics tend to resonate with the sentiment of a lovesick
puppy in phrases like "It feels so good coming back home to
you" from "Back Home To You," or "Serena, have
a little faith in me" from "Serena."
If music was a clothier, Jon Robert's would be the Diesel Jeans of
pop/rock's class; able to appeal to the general public but also making
each song personalized and asserting contemporary trends. Every artist
has their time and this is Jon Robert's moment.
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