Jonathan Rado – “Law & Order”

Lindsey gives her thoughts on Jonathan Rado’s latest release on Woodsist – “Law & Order” – released on September 3rd.

Luke Goddard

out of 10

Jonathan Rado
Law and Order
September 3rd, 2013

Overall, Jonathan Rado’s Law & Order is OK. It’s so overtly California that this East Coaster fails to find common ground. I’m more impressed with the production quality than the content. It feels like a collection of 12 tracks rather than an album. Utterly confused, allow me to break it down into a track-by-track synopsis because I do not know how else to approach this album.

I was initially hooked by the approachable opening track “Seven Horses”, but for me the album fell off from there as the sounds of a summer anthem bleed into pastiche. Folksy duet “Put Your Hand In Mine” and “The Lights Went Out in Georgia” sound blatantly copied versus influenced, listening to the latter track I doubt Rado has spent any real time in the South. Conversely, “Dance Away Your Ego‘s recognizable surf tones sound more inspired than appropriated, however unmemorable. “I Wanna Feel It Now!!!”, besides abusing the exclamation point, is distortion for the sake of distortion. I guess. Here it sounds more like distraction than enhancement. Again the counterpoint, “Looking 4a Girl Like U”, apparently named after a teenage girl’s text message, does a better job of integrating synthesized sound.

“I Wood” and “Law and Order” fall back into the precedent set by “Seven Horses”, starting to orbit one another and form the universe of Rado’s sound.

Then the album ends with what sounds like a random homage to Phil Collins, Pot of Gold. I just don’t know.

Everything on the album sounds like it was written by someone else. Rado is clearly a talented musician, but Law & Order fails to tell a story (at least one I follow). While musicians may not want to be classified as this or that, a little cohesion is not a bad thing.

– September 9th, 2013 – Lindsey Whitefield

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