Laurence Jones: What’s it Gonna Be Review

Laurence Jones’ third album is an apt continuation of the legacy that Jones’ has begun to build for himself – that is to say, on What’s it Gonna Be Jones is once again the young voice paying homage to the older voices that inspired him, while continually driving his sound forward.  Jones won Young Artist of the Year at last year’s British Blues Awards for his sophomore release Temptation, and it’s fairly impressive that amidst his extensive touring he’s managed to find the time to record an album that holds up so well against its predecessor.

What’s it Gonna Be opens with the electrifying title track, and Jones balances thick riffs with jangling chords for a powerful four minutes. This track serves as a launching point for the rest of the record where we hear Jones sometimes favor vocal melodies against subtler chorded backdrops, and at other times choosing to use his voice to support the much more prominent guitar melodies. “Don’t Look Back,” the obligatory a-side ballad, solidifies Jones as an adept song smith, and the appearance of Sandi Thom is a welcome surprise.

Turns out Jones has a couple tricks up his sleeve to keep things interesting on the second half, too. A cover of Lead Belly’s “Good Morning Blues” opens brilliantly with a sample of the original, the “Tell what you gotta tell it” line repeating, weaving in and out of Jones’ guitar work, and whiskey-voiced blues woman Dana Fuchs shows up on Jones’ cut of Bad Company’s “Can’t Get Enough.” And in the middle of this there’s “Being Alone,” whose hook is one of the album’s stand-out moments (and is a little reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll).”

Laurence Jones doesn’t seem to be wearing out, and if he keeps putting out records at the pace and quality that he currently is it won’t be long until Jones’ back catalogue is widely recognized as the treasure that it so far is.

The Review 8.5/10

Can’t Miss Tracks

– What’s it Gonna Be
– Evil
– Touch Your Moonlight
– Don’t Look Back
– Being Alone
– Good Morning Blues

The Big Hit

– Touch Your Moonlight

Review by Richard MacDougall

Buy the album: Amazon

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