Jonathan Smith is a musician from the UK who recently released a thirteen-song album entitled Travel Bag. His music is straightforward pop/rock that doesn’t contain a whole lot of surprises along the way. Smith embraces plenty of tropes within the songs but still delivers consistently solid songwriting.
He gets going with “Dawn Rising” which revolves around guitar picking that may remind you of a band like The Byrds or Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. The drumbeat was a little too simple for my liking but the vocals and guitar made up for it. It’s a catchy opener - no more no less. “Wayward Vision” is upbeat and festive and I particularly enjoyed the accordion on this song.
One of the highlights was the title track, which is a soft picking song. I thought his vocal performance was superior to the preceding song here. He seems more relaxed on this track. Another highlight was “5000 Miles (feat. Leanne Richards).” She delivers a stellar vocal performance and was a pleasant change. “Angel of Entry” is a well-written pop/rock song that is about lost love. Smith sings, “I wonder where she stays, and if she thinks of me / You’ve got to have some chains before you can be free / I feel renewed this time."
“Six Charles” is a short, instrumental song while “Long Time” reverts to Smith's strength, which I think are the slower, melancholy tracks. This is further displayed on “Future Tense.”
I can’t say every song was a homerun for me on Travel Bag. That being said Smith does a good job mixing it up style wise while not deviating too far. The album felt cohesive and seamless with a couple of highlights along the way.
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