Sean Bones (his real last name is Sullivan) was the lead guitarist in a band that played roots rock-influenced pop tunes and working nights in a bar when his girlfriend asked him to write a couple of reggae tunes she could use to promote her line of swimsuits. His first two, "Sugar in My Spoon" (which is actually more ska than reggae) and "Easy Street" were released as an actual vinyl single and did so well that he decided to make an album. Meanwhile, another friend asked him to star in Wha Do Dem, an indie film about a guy who escapes from a dead-end relationship in New York and lands up broke and friendless in Jamaica. His co-star was Norah Jones, and while none of the music from Rings is the film, the Jamaican connection does seem to hint at some kind of odd cosmic coincidence. If Wha Do Dem has half the charm of Rings, the movie should be worth seeing. The easy listening, pop-flavored reggae tunes Bones writes are perfect little gems, and although there are touches of dub and dancehall, this is a pop album all the way, which is not a bad thing. Bones can write a catchy hook as well as any A-list band you might want to name. Bass player Mikey Bones adds some heavy JA cred with his deep roots rock basslines, Ryan Thronton's skittery drumming and percussion accentuate the music's primal bottom, while Mark Phillips fills out the soundscape with his work on organ, clavinet, and piano. The album's bright, summery grooves make it a delight, and Bones sings with the voice of a nonchalant romantic, a perfect fit for these breezy confections. Possible hits include the ska-flavored "Sugar in My Spoon," a rollicking groove with an irresistible chorus, "Turn Them" a duet with Norah Jones that features subtle organ fills by Phillips and a nice galloping beat from Thronton, the bass-heavy thump of "Dancehall" which drops slide guitar, funk, and a stomping rock beat into the mix, and "Visions," a dark RB tune with Bones providing some reverb-drenched spaghetti western guitar clang into the dubby mix. j. poet, Rovi
- Rock, Reggae
- Contemporary Reggae, Indie Rock
- July 21, 2009
- Sean Bones
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