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CD REVIEW: Jon Tamayori - 'Where Do We Go From Here?'
By Steve Allat - 03/17/2004 - 08:24 PM EST

Artist: Jon Tamayori
Album: 'Where Do We Go From Here?'
CD Review: Label: Independent - Leo Records
Tracks: 10
Released: 2003
For Fans Of:: Crosby Stills & Nash, Simon & Garfunkel, Grapes of Wrath
Fav Track: Where Do We Go From Here?, Ocean Divine, Beautiful World.

I would have been immensely satisfied with this CD had it only had 5 tracks - the first 5.
After that, something changes, and while there are still some very good moments, it takes away from being able to summarize this CD in it's entirety. Instead, I literally need to give you 2 reviews - one great, the other just good.

The CD opens with the title track, and Jon takes full command. We are introduced to his gentle voice, set against the backdrop of a mix of relaxed acoustic and electric guitar. The song is catchy and upbeat and makes me smile. This continues on - songs 2, 3, 4 and 5 deliver more of the same. Great songs, good playing and a very nice sounding home recording. My only desire would have been for 'real' percussion where there were machines, and more percussion to help drive the upbeat numbers.

Then track 6 happens, and despite the obvious change in style and production, it remains my favourite track. In fact, I will be so bold as to say that with 'real' percussion, the vocals back out front as in the previous tracks', and a bit better production, you could easily hear this song on the radio sometime soon.

So, did you catch that? I hope so, because what happens on track 6 sets the tone for the last 5 songs on the album. Without knowing the reason, I only have to speculate that the changes which put effects on Jon's voice and bury them slightly, bring the electric guitar to the fore, and contribute to the less appealing production, are there for a reason. I figure that the songs must have been recorded in separate batches. Or at different times and/or places. Or simply without the attention the first tracks got, whatever the reason.

Even the songwriting is weaker than the opening tracks - again, alluding to . . . earlier work?
The lyrics of the first 5 tracks are simply better written and better sung. The messages bright and clear. I miss that from the rest of the disc.

Overall, I have to say that I did really enjoy Jon's music. His voice is very nice, and his playing relaxed. With a little reflection and perhaps updating of a few of the tunes on the second half, Jon would have a very strong CD to bring to us.

Either that, or simply give us more! I know he can deliver.

Contact: Jon Tamayori
Address: LEO Records, PO Box 37394, Honolulu, HI 96837


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