I almost turned it off or at least skipped to the next song after the first few bars of “Contagious Love” – the first cut on the latest self-titled EP by Jariko. You see, it started up with that autotune stuff and if you’ve ever read any of my reviews, you know that makes me cringe.
I’m glad I made myself listen, though. Contagious Love is one of those straight up pop songs that is infectious to the point that I might even play it in public ( yeah that’s one heck of a compliment coming from me). In fact the whole EP is like that. It rocks and rolls right along, with some real cool sounds and the songs are a lot deeper than the bubble-gum production would lead you believe if you weren’t listening to the lyrics. Oh, and the autotune business, it shows up on occasion, but mostly in a fun and tasteful way.
I may as well get my complaints out of the way… Production! That’s my complaint… The production on Jariko’s songs is perfect. Perfect if you’re into the club-pop thing. That’s the problem, so this is more a note to pop producers than to the artist: any moron can download some samples and beats, spend 20 minutes learning to make the Cher sound and think they are a producer. Will you guys please move on to something new and take a chance like you did when I was a kid? Seriously, how many times are you going to rip off a great artist by re-hashing last decade’s pop format?
ok, complaints now finished
This kid can sing! He should be able to; he’s been at it since he was 14. He made it to the “Best of the Best” list on a popular TV show and sang with rock icons Journey. That’s some decent cred! I know… if you are a die-hard-indie like me, you don’t have much respect for those “so-you-wanna-be-a-star-tv-shows”, but if that’s the case, you are doing yourself a disservice. We indie freaks need to pay close attention to these shows and the majors in the industry. After all, that’s the industry we are hoping to make “better,” and we can’t do that if we don’t know and understand it. This guy has embraced it, and by-gum I’ll bet he continues on an amazing journey for quite a while, if he keeps putting out songs like these, which he obviously loves to do.
From catchy lines to deep thoughts, the youngster puts some reality into the glitz. Two love songs a party-hopper and a slower number “Angels” (which is my favorite and explores some spiritual thought) round out a great little EP. I think I’ll be adding it to the playlist for the parties I dj for the kids over at the school, they are gonna love it!
So, wow, you did it, kid… you won me over on a pop record… that’s hard to do!