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Friday, 9 November 2012

Record Review - Jon DeRosa

A Wolf In Preacher’s Clothes

Rocket Girl CD

Since Richard Hawley abandoned his croon and went psychedelic(ish), there’s been a vacancy in pop’s ‘late night troubadour’ sub-section. Jon DeRosa could well be the man to fill it. He’s already been knocking around for 15 years, since forming Aarktica, a New York-based musical collective who produced several albums of ambient, atmospheric electro between 2000-2009.

Having stepped away from his pseudonym, however, he’s transformed himself into ‘a post-punk Sinatra’ as one waggish critic puts it. I can’t think of a wittier analogy, although in this reincarnation, DeRosa could also pass for Richard Hawley (a la Coles Corner) and occasionally even Bid from The Monochrome Set. 

In essence, A Wolf In Preacher’s Clothes is a beautiful collision between the dark dreaminess of Echo & The Bunnymen, and the orchestrated pop ballads of the 50s and early 60s, polished off with some natty 40s vocal styling - all of which has influenced 33-year-old DeRosa down the years. Mostly sombre in tone, the album also reveals flashes of pop perfection, such as opener 'Birds of Brooklyn', which manages to walk the wobbly line between being instantly agreeable yet understated enough to avoid a sugary aftertaste.

Chris Twomey

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