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Johnathan|Christian
by on July 5, 2019
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http://www.chaindlk.com/reviews/?id=8157 Jonathan|Christian is Jonathan Mooney, former keyboardist of the New York based band The New Creatures (now living in Los Angeles, California) and Swedish artist Christian Granquist, having spent some time playing with the power-pop trio Day Behavior and now the keyboardist of Stockholm electronic band, The Atom. (Granquist is the vocalist of this project.) 'Beautiful Hideous' is the debut collaboration of this trans-continental project, and it's already garnered quite a buzz. When I first popped the CD in to play it blind (as I often do, without reading any accompanying material to get a totally objective sound experience) I though I was hearing a new Peter Murphy solo album. Closer listening made me think 'that's not PM, but it does sound uncannily like him'. But not always. Sometimes Granquist sometimes sounds a bit like Bowie, like on 'Before The Dark' a romantic gothy power ballad. Some of the lyrics are even sung in French. In fact, the whole album has a romantic-goth bent to it. The music isn't just keyboards and a drum machine; it sounds like a full band including guitar, although the keyboards are predominant. Very well-produced too. It's a grand style these guys have latched onto, as good if not better than anything else currently out there in this vein. Granquist's lyrics are superb, full of appropriate imagery, pathos, and high drama. It works very well with his voice. Mooney is a most effective composer for this kind of material too, as well as an excellent arranger and player. If there is a word for this album, it has to be 'atmospheric'; there is definitely a brooding mood throughout. Nowhere is that more evident than on their cover of Duran Duran's 'The Chauffeur'. Rather than sing the lyrics, Granquist chooses a recitation for most of it until the end, turning the song into something more'¦sinister. (Although I do like DD's video of the song, it might even be better with this version.) The one thing I wish they had done is a real uptempo rocker. I know they might have thought it would be a mood spoiler, but I don't think so. There are a couple of remixes on the album- one by Attrition's Martin Bowes ('I Walk This Earth Alone'), the other by Bryin Dall of Thee Majesty, 4th Sign of the Apocalypse, Dream Into Dust, A Murder of Angels, Loretta's Doll, etc (title track 'Beautiful Hideous'). Although neither are radically different, they do offer another perspective on the songs, and both are quite enjoyable. If there is one track on the album that's an attention grabber (if not a hit), it's 'Fallen' with its killer chorus. That song alone should have big labels rushing to sign these guys, but you know big labels these days, a bunch of bitchy little girls. I'd be very interested in hearing what the follow-up to 'Beautiful Hideous' might be. I'd also be interested in seeing of there are any tours planned (a tough thing for trans-continental projects like this). I'd see them if they came to New York. So would a gaggle of goth girls I imagine. How could they resist the tragic romance of Jonathan|Christian?
Posted in: Music