Against a backdrop of roots, Americana and folk, this Chicago band have delivered a second album of well-crafted country songs
The new self-titled album from Jonas Friddle & The Majority is the follow-up to the group’s 2013 debut, Use Your Voice. The Chicago-based outfit have packed their sound with horns, banjo and fiddle and offer a hybrid of roots, Americana and country music, which still has a pop sensibility at its centre. It’s perhaps damning them with faint praise to say that the resulting record is a pleasant affair.
Of the tracks, Live In This World is a country reincarnation of the Rocky theme tune. Me Oh My Love gently sways against a backdrop of hushed banjo and soft backing vocals. Music Wherever I Go has the conversational tone of Tom Petty and Wake You With A Song is piano-driven and passionate. The shouting sections on Sugar Moon sail a little too closely to The Lumineers’ Ho Hey and suffer by comparison.
Closing number Sing Just One More Song With Me shows what the band are capable of, it’s a bluesy honky tonk-infused, last orders-defying song, bursting with richness and warmth. There’s an originality to the track which is occasionally missing elsewhere. Though this album never quite catches fire, the embers glow enough to make it a worthwhile listen.
Verdict: Enjoyable roots-flavoured country