Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
A romance is something to be treasured, especially one that is hard fought for, arguably more so than the one that was easy, that fell into place and then as the saying goes, they lived happily ever after. It is better to hard won than to be won over with an empty promise, a meaningless gesture; it is the fight that shows others that it was all worth it in the end.
John Jenkins has fought many battles, the eye for the truth in a song is one that is always combated, struggled with, for Mr. Jenkins that wrestling with the scenario of a line well placed is what makes his music elegant, a man of the people repose, the everybody in every situation and it always comes across as honest, sincere and frank. It is in frankness that his first musical set down on an album, A New York Romance, is to be seen as a colossal moment in the musician’s life, but also one that proves just how much hard work can go on behind the scenes when putting something together that must follow a narrative, a stream of collected thoughts that bind a story together.
The selection of songs on the album follow the time honoured as well as the inventive, the structure is fashionably rich but also true to the artist’s ethos as well, it is not hard to imagine as you take the play and production as it opens up before you, that John Jenkins is himself immersed within the storyline, watching, observing every moment of the young people’s lives in which he has so delicately weaved the tale around.
It is always a pleasure to know that this arrangement between writer and muse is in progress; that like the relationship between the forces of love and regret, there is more to the piece than just wishful thinking, that something as hard won as A New York Romance is bound by the writer’s own life and experiences.
With music supplied by Scott Poley, Chris Howard, Scott Whitely, Jake Woodward, Tony Peers and Jon Lawton and songs such as Babe Magnet, The Telephone Song, Stranger In The City, Don’t Make Me Stay, and the album closer of Maybe This Time captured with wonderful expression and joy by Daniel Greenwood, Peter King, Nicola Hardman, Ian Davies, Megan Louise and Sarah Jones, A New York Romance is a piece of theatre beauty waiting to happen and be explored for all its potential.
Truth, like love, is hard won, there are short cuts to both, but in the eye of the muse driven writer, both are presented at their best when searched for with absolute drive and purpose.
Ian D. Hall