Jonathan Tyler and The Northern Lights – Pardon Me

Released: April 27th, 2010
Reviewed by Chris Johnston

Pure, American Rock n Roll. There is no other way in the world to describe this album. Just right off the bat, this LP just demands to be blasted through your car speakers with all the windows rolled down on a 95 degree sunny day. You know, the kind where your back sticks to the leather seat of your 1985 Mustang. Frankly, it doesn’t even matter if you own a Mustang with leather interior, because the first track, “Pardon Me,” makes you feel like you do. Even if you’re driving your mom’s Focus to class in the middle of winter. Vocalist, Jonathan Tyler, takes you back to the glory days of The Black Crowes with his raspy tones. It’s like he said to the producer before tracking vocals, “hang on a minute, I’m going to chug this fifth of Jack and power smoke a pack of Marlboro’s and we can roll.” THAT’S how American he sounds. This is the sound Kid Rock wishes he had, but DOESN’T. I mean, how can you go wrong with a song that says, “Cause we’re young and free, singin’ songs about it, don’t feel wrong about it”? It’s so simple and perfect for the music. No BS, no filler, just simple and fun. It’s March right now and I’m already planning on having this in the back-round of my next spring BBQ.

Can you tell that I like it yet? But more than anything, the song “Gypsy Woman” straight up KICKS ASS. It’s the absolute perfect blend of blues, funk, and straight rock.  You feel like you’re right there when this song kicks in. Right in the mix of a backyard jam session with a freshly tapped keg getting nutty with all your buddies. Then, halfway through the record, that’s when night falls. And everyone is looking for someone to hook up with. “Pain Me A Picture” slows it down and seeks out the raging hormones of everyone listening to Tyler abandon the roughness in his voice for a more smooth sounding croon. But the record picks right back up after that with only one other slow jam and is relentless till the end.

I find it hard to find a flaw in this album. Now I’m not saying it’s perfect, but it is what it aims to be. There’s no crazy jumping around of styles or any sort of inconsistency within the music. JTNL have struck some serious party gold with this one. It’s produced well, the songs flow well, and the guitar tones are out of this world. This album has got me pining for summer, because if there’s one thing I realized after listening to this record, this band brings the party. And I’m ready to party.


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