Jón Jónsson has been performing since an early age. One of those annoyingly talented childhood prodigies that every school has, he continued his education in his home town of Hafnarfjörður before gaining a soccer scholarship with Boston University. Told you so.
On returning home, he decided a career in music was for him, and quickly spawned a series of singles that were well received in Iceland. His debut album was released in 2009.
It wasn’t until 2012 that Jón was ‘discovered’ during a visit to New York. He was signed up to Epic Records (a division of Sony Music), with whom he has released two albums, the second being Heim in 2014.
Despite looking like an escaped member of One Direction, Jón treads the same ground as Jack Johnson or Newton Faulkner, and occasionally Jamie Cullum (see ‘Heltekur minn hug’).
Accompanied by laid-back guitar, piano, and the occasional Hammond organ, Jón’s vocals are a gentle, unassuming affair. He doesn’t seem to have any of the character of the aforementioned musicians either, like Jack Johnson without the surf connotations, or Jamie without the jazz.
‘Engin eftirsjá’ chugs along quite nicely, making for a welcome change in pace. ‘Feel for you,’ however, is especially mawkish with its ‘this party is for everybody / but it’s especially made for you’ central lyric. ‘All, You, I’ smacks of a producer aping Ed Sheeran.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s all pleasant enough, save for the awkward forced singalong on ‘Dag eftir dag.’ Heim is the sort of album that can’t possibly offend anyone, but by the same token, doesn’t engage or certainly challenge anyone either.
Originally published on Iceland Review online.