Jonathan Jeremiah - What's A Guy Got To Do? (Island)
Mary Stokes | Monday, 10 August 2009
With a voice to rival the soul legends he has worked with, Jonathan Jeremiah has a timeless musical gift. And 'What's A Guy To Do,' stands as testament not only to his incredible talent, but also his unerring dedication to fulfilling his dreams.
Berating the whimsical nature of relationships and women, this, the first single from the EP, attempts to answer the age-old question of 'What's A Guy Got To Do?' But while the subject matter may be a by-product of modern living, the track's soulful string accompaniment and mellow bass-line are obviously inspired by the Soul era. The nostalgic soundtrack, however, is nothing when compared to Jeremiah's incredible, timeless and utterly beguiling voice.
But if 'What's A Guy Got To Do?' takes you back to a time when dinner jackets were all the fashion, 'See' seems to have been written to be performed in an old New York concert hall. Its orchestral accompaniment evokes the spirit of the golden age of Soul, with the syncopated bass-line adding elements of jazz to the overall composition. But unfortunately, whereas the latter showcased a voice that masked his young age, 'See' doesn't quite hit the same levels of smooth.
The only live track on the EP, 'Protection' demonstrates what Jeremiah can do when armed with just his guitar. Minus the studio production his smooth, soulful voice is transformed into one which is raw, edgy and full of emotion. Underneath, the simple acoustic accompaniment offers support when needed whilst also ensuring the track continues forward once the lyrics repeat.
Whilst only a 4-track EP, What's A Guy Got To Do? punches above its weight. Working with the likes of Questlove and the JBs, Jonathan Jeremiah has crafted an outstanding record, which is immensely intimate with mainstream appeal.