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Friday, February 20, 2009

Review: Jono & Friends - Misty Roses

Jono & Friends – Misty Roses
2008, J. Frola

Jono Frola has led something of a charmed life. The one time rock club manager, advertising jingle writer, actor, songwriter and singer has travelled all over in pursuit of his various muses. Appearing in films such as Making Mr. Right, Tweeners and Natalie In New York. His jingles have been featured in spots or campaigns for Sports Illustrated, Pan Am Airlines and International Harvester. In 2008, Frola released Misty Roses on CD. Let’s take a look.

Misty Roses opens with the title track, a schmaltzy Bossa Nova that’s played as smooth as silk. I Was Wrong is pure 1970’s AM radio material. The gentle R&B groove here should be full of soul, but Jono just doesn’t provide that feel in the vocals. Jono makes the most of his cover of The Beatles’ While My Guitar Gently Weeps. He extracts some lovely sounds from his guitar, but the energy just isn’t there. It’s a melancholy song, but there was a spark to the original (and to several covers I’ve heard over the years) that is simply absent here.

Island Dreams has more energy, with a delicious Bossa Nova beat underneath it all. Dazed also shows a bit of life, and the cover of Randy Newman’s Marie actually reflects some inspiration on the part of Jono & Friends, but about half of the album falls prey to its own listlessness. Jono himself is a passable vocalist, but pitch problems do appear on the mastered recording. This is (almost) always a dubious choice. Misty Roses is meant to be a romantic album, but romance requires energy, and about half the time Jono & Friends just don’t have it here.

Rating: 2 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Jono & Friends at You can pick up a copy of Misty Roses at

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