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Jon DeRosa - Black Halo

  by Dave Goodwin

published: 5 / 7 / 2015

Jon DeRosa - Black Halo
Label: Rocket Girl
Format: CD


Melancholic but beautiful 50's-influenced second solo album from baritone-voiced New Jersey-born singer-songwriter, Jon DeRosa

Jon DeRosa is a guitarist, composer and singer-songwriter who currently resides in Los Angeles, but who was raised in the small shore town of Manasquan, New Jersey. By the time he had turned eighteen he had become part of dark folk/goth band Dead Leaves Rising, which disbanded in 2002. In 1998, however, DeRosa lost nearly all hearing in his right ear, and even before Dead Rising split the accompanying aural hallucinations inspired him to start Aarktica, a mostly instrumental, guitar-based atmospheric project that still remains active to this day. As a result of his hearing loss, DeRosa began studying Indian classical vocal music and briefly recorded under the name Pale Horse and Rider, releasing two albums of urban country songs. DeRosa signed with Rocket Girl Records in the UK, and put out his debut solo album,'A Wolf in Preacher’s Clothes', in 2012. In 2013, DeRosa digitally released the single 'Signs of Life' again on Rocket Girl Records, and toured Europe in support of punk/no-wave icon Lydia Lunch. 'Black Halo' is DeRosa's second full-length outing in his own name, and there isn't much change of tone in this from 'A Wolf in Preacher's Clothes' except for the addition of female vocals here and there. His voice is still as lush and mesmeric as ever. I sometimes wonder how he would have faired being mixed up with the Brat pack. 'The Sun is Crying' is an exceptional piece of work, and there is a slight return to popcorn soul days on it and some of the other tracks. 'Lonely Sleep' is another good example of this, as is the starter 'Fool's Razor' which is just sublime with violins and cello working their magic around Derosa's faultless voice. 'Coyotes' meanwhile shines like some late 50's super-selling Billboard hit. The title track is an instrumental but again had me thinking of 'Grease' with its early popcorn beat and rhythm. Sometimes the work of Aarktika bleeds through the bandages of 'Black Halo'. 'High and Lonely' drifts along mysteriously and is as dark as dark, but is a superb track again though. The blindingly brilliant track on here, however, is 'You're Still Haunting Me'. Again violins and cellos soar along with Derosa like confetti on the wind, and I guarantee on it you won't be able to stop listening to that rich melancholic effortless vocal that is unmistakably Jon Derosa. Bloody marvellous!

Track Listing:-
1 Fool's Razor
2 The Sun Is Crying
3 When Daddy Took The Treehouse Down
4 Coyotes
5 Give Me One More Reason
6 Lonely Sleep
7 Dancing In A Dream
8 Blood Moon
9 Knock Once
10 You're Still Haunting Me
11 High And Lonely
12 Black Halo

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