Aug 2011 09

Anthony Jones - Viktorian
Anthony Jones
Category: Electronica
Album: Viktorian
Stars: 4
Blurb: The red hot pulse of ethereal dark electronic from the late ‘80s through to today, ready for you to sink your teeth into.


Anthony Jones – vocalist and lyricist who has contributed his talents to projects Alaska Highway and The Point of Reflection – has now released Viktorian, a musical immortalization of an eight-year-long relationship that met its end. While much of Jones’ previous work has also explored the heights and pitfalls of love treasured and lost, and while that work has been composed expertly enough to give such an intense and universally human subject a properly robust voice, Viktorian does all of this and more. It has the extra “something” that makes the difference between a good album and a great album. Maybe that “something” is pure passion, maybe it’s the power of personal experience, or perhaps it’s simply an outstanding example of emotion translated seamlessly into music. Whatever it is, if listened to from start to finish, this is an album that makes a deep – even painful – impression.

Viktorian is an homage to late ‘80s and early to mid ‘90s dream pop, trip-hop, and darkwave, and half of the album consists of cover versions of songs that come out of these time periods and genres. While some will consider this release to be too heavy on unoriginal material, the Viktorian versions of these songs are crafted so masterfully and generate such a powerfully nostalgic mood that they do not come across as “covers,” even if the listener is familiar with the original material. The original songs are as well done as the cover songs; interspersed with the four reinterpretations, they ensnare and enrapture with a rich combination of organic instruments, synthesized effects, and captivating vocal work.

The first track, “What Dreams May Come,” creeps up on the listener with organic drums and a flurry of notes from Chinese flutes, going then into a driving electronic beat. Jones’ vocals, which come in with the synthetic percussion, have a light electric effect applied to them, which makes for a strong larger-than-life presence. With this first track we are introduced to the very well put together drum progressions in Viktorian, consisting of several layers of subtle, asperous textures. “Shoulder to the Wheel,” a tribute to Bel Canto, gets into the meat of this album. The original song’s opening synth swells are replaced by the intonations of well known vocalist and Los Angeles DJ, Amanda Jones. An atmospheric and wonderfully eerie effect is applied to her vocals, and the duet that occurs at the chorus is phenomenal. “Come to Me,” a more ethereal version of Brad Fiedel’s Fright Night II movie soundtrack piece, is absolutely brilliant. The image conveyed is that of a misty night filled with sweaty desire, or of a passing but thunderous squall. This song and “Viktor” are the two tracks that feature Anthony Jones’ impressive vocal range and richness of tone. “Agonized by Love,” a cover of Clan of Xymox, starts off with piano and a lone Chinese bamboo flute and moves into a slow beat, dreamy vocals, and background guitar, carrying the listener along in a fluid stream that seems to reach far across time and space. The concluding track, “In Sleep” is sublime as a closing piece on this release, promising so much more just beyond the final veil. This piece also has a slow beat that intensifies into a stannic lash in the middle.

Viktorian is a rare combination of subtlety and in your face intensity. It is a worthy veneration of two decades of dark ethereal electronic music and a masterfully crafted testimonial of the most noble of human emotions.
Track list:

  1. What Dreams May Come
  2. Shoulder to the Wheel (Bel Canto – feat. Amanda Jones)
  3. Falling Snow
  4. Come to Me (Brad Fiedel)
  5. Viktor
  6. Eden (Sarah Brightman / Hooverphonic)
  7. Agonized by Love (Clan of Xymox)
  8. In Sleep

Anthony Jones ReverbNation!/AnthonyJones
Night Shift Records Website
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Dillon Carlyon

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