Howard Jones – Dialogue (Album Review)

Howard Jones – Dialogue (Album Review)

Still relatively fresh from the release of his last two albums – 2015’s stylistically diverse Engage and 2019’s return-to-Synthpop-roots Transform – the 1980s-peaking New Wave purveyor Howard Jones is back with yet another collection of new music. 

Coming out on Friday, September 9, 2022, via DTox/BFD/Orchard Records, Jones’s new offering goes by the title Dialogue. Highly anticipated among dedicated fans, it marks the third of the quadrumvirate of records that included the two aforecited albums, and the still forthcoming Global Citizen which is slated for release sometime in 2023.

Produced by Jones himself in collaboration with Ronnie Bronnimann, Dialogue also marks his second proper studio album since 2009’s Ordinary Heroes. Complete with eight new songs, the album opens with the celebratory Dance Pop of the aptly titled “Celebrate It Together.” It then swiftly takes the listener back to the ’80s Pop glitter and New Wave glamor via the ensuing “Formed by the Stars.” Then with a bit of gloomy and hopefully sentimental, “My One True Love” is a heartrending ballad. A mid tempo piece, it will fit well onto a retrospective playlist that includes Ultravox’s “Vienna,” Depeche Mode’s “It Doesn’t Matter,” and Camouflage’s “Love Is a Shield.”

The beat then flows seamlessly as “Be the Hero” pulsates and inspires. Still in synthesizer territory, “Who You Really Want To?” plays next, lifting the spirits a bit higher with its flickering melodies and driving rhythm. Moving on, “You Are the Peacemaker” changes the mood slightly – a tad groovy, a bit funky. Then the listener becomes also a dancer as they get ready for the discotheque sensibilities of “To Feel Love.” Finally, the reinvigorated Jones ends his Dialogue with the full-on Funk Pop glory “I Believe in You.”

Now 67-year-old, as a singer-songwriter, composer, and keyboardist, Howard Jones is truly one of Synthpop’s pioneers and remains the genre’s eternal flag-bearer. Thirty-eight years after the success of his chart-topping first singles – “New Song” and “What Is Love?”- with a dozen albums led by 1984’s Human’s Lib, and the ensuing year’s Dream into Action, Howard Jones ensures that his creativity and prolificacy are yet to fade out. Dialogue is another testament to that. So, look forward to getting a copy of it to be able to converse with him once again… both in music and in spirit. Well worth the time, and leaving us curious to hear Global Citizen, Cryptic Rock gives Dialogue 4 out 5 stars.

 

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aLfie vera mella
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Born in 1971, in Metro Manila, Philippines, aLfie vera mella is a healthcare worker, singer/songwriter, and editor/writer. He was the frontman of the ’90s-peaking Philippine Alternative Rock / New Wave band Half Life Half Death, which released a full-length album and several singles on Viva Records. aLfie worked at Diwa Scholastic Press as an editor/writer of academic textbooks and supplementary magazines, focusing on Science & Technology and English Grammar & Literature. In 2003, aLfie migrated to Canada; he has since been living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He works full-time at a healthcare institution, while serving as the associate contributing editor of Filipino Journal—a local community newspaper in Winnipeg—tackling Literature, Languages, Cultures, Lifestyles, and Music. aLfie has been a music journalist since the mid-’90s for various print magazines as well as websites. He started writing album reviews for Cryptic Rock in 2015. In 2016, aLfie published Part One (Literature & Languages and Their Cultural Significance) of his Essay Series, Can You Hear the Sound of a Falling Leaf?; in 2021, his first book of poetry, Pag-íhip sa Dáhon ng Kahápon [Blowing Leaves of Yesterday]. In his spare time, he enjoys reading books and listening to music. aLfie is a dedicated father to his now 13-year-old son, Evawwen; and a loving husband to Kathryn Mella, who herself moonlights also as a writer aside from holding a degree in Bachelor of Arts, Major in Sociology.

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