Jonathan Peyper: Jonathan Peyper Review

New on the scene, Jonathan Peyper quietly dropped his self-titled debut two months ago. The unceremonious release and small scale of his touring means that his album has sort of slipped under the radar outside of his home in South Africa, which is a little upsetting given Peyper’s flavour. With some of the album’s songs titled “Mysterious Woman,” “Love at Midnight,” and “Where is My Eve?” it’s no surprise that Jonathan Peyper’s approach to the blues is a sensuous one. Peyper’s self-titled debut is full of explorative guitar work framed by light melodies, gushing hooks, and nostalgic chord turns. It’s not that everything on this record is slow and winding; Peyper bursts with energy frequently too. These moments often seem outshined by the gentler ones, however.

The diversity Peyper presents on his debut shows a lot of promise for future material. The album closer, “Close to Home,” is a folk-tinged acoustic piece a la The Tallest Man on Earth. Contrast with the frenzied, cocaine-fuelled “Don’t Stop Your Rock N’ Roll; Peyper swaps the acoustic for a Stratocaster and the slide guitar for a chilling walk-up riff. Queen of Clubs and Baby Blue Eyes follow the same path, chugging chords and showcasing solos. These moments (bar “Don’t Stop Your Rock N’ Roll)” don’t hold up very well when contrasted to some of the more thoughtful material Peyper has to offer; the angst-ridden “Hold On,” or the soul-reaching “Where is My Eve?”

Is Jonathan Peyper a future blues legend and is his self-titled debut a masterpiece? Probably not. This record is missing the jaw-dropping edge that warrants that sort of gravity. Is it an enjoyable listen? Absolutely. Peyper’s guitar work is captivating and intricate, and the melodies on his debut are light and fun. This record may have been released two months ago, but its thoughtful moments and meditative, sensual delivery make it a perfect fall record. I’d highly recommend making it the record of your fall this year.

The Review: 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– Apologies
– Don’t Stop Your Rock N’ Roll
– Hold On
– Where is My Eve

The Big Hit

– Apologies

Review by Richard MacDougall

Buy the album: Amazon | iTunes

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