I present to you one of the nicest and warmest surprises to come from a Swedish band in quite some time, at least for those of you who are into soft AOR. JONO may sound like a slightly tacky monicker, but it's short for JOHAN NORRBY who is the main brain behind this band. This album oozes of professionalism and has many influences from QUEEN and SPARKS, as well as Dutch pride VALENSIA. This includes the grandness in the arrangements and highly impressive harmony vocals.
Talking about vocals; the lead vocal from Norrby himself (he's also one of two keyboard players) is awesome! Sometimes I think of the RONGEDAL brothers, and this goes for the vocal as well as some of the softer songs - there are some songs reminding me of a slightly heavier BIG MONEY (Magnus Rongedal's band) here, which is something you don't hear too often in this world.
Already at the start of the first song, "I was the one", you just react. "This is really good!" It has got the attitude of SPARKS, with quite biting guitars considering the style of music. Rock, AOR and pomp have their equal share in "Nothing", and I totally recommend "Symphony" with its fine ending. It includes an epical QUEEN part - soft and majestic. Even though all the influences mentioned are old 70's or 80's dinosaur rockers, JONO manages to deliver a fresh production which has vibes of modern times but still with the main focus on the sound-picture of the 80's. One fine example is "Best thing" where you can think og ROONEY but also STYX at the same time! And even though some songs are close to fall under the musical genre, these guys add more rock into the whole picture. The only exception would be "Letting go", where they've gotten too close to the "Memories" song from "Cats". This leads me into one of few downsides of this great album: the songs are very good but they feel a little too predictable in the arrangements. Mister Norrby & the other guys can surely bring more personal touches in their songs for the next CD. And if, or when, they do - the will have a total killer. Get the physical CD one while you can!