For someone with the label synth pop pioneer, Howard Jones has never settled on just that. Constantly challenging himself and improving his capability of expressing the human condition through technology, Jones returns with the highly anticipated Transform.
Jones talent in the studio is nothing short of magnificent. It also helped that he teamed up with longtime collaborator Robbie Bronnimann to turn his vision into an artistic statement that sits neatly with other albums like Dream Into Action or Human Lib.
Howard Jones and BT – The One To Love You
“The One To Love You” is one of three collaborations with electronic music icon BT. Through some of BT’s influence and Jones’ electronic identity, the song opens the album on a danceable high with glorious pop splendor. He pulls out all the stops to showcase his songwriting chops through the beauty of human relations.
The title track is a more intimate and beautiful conglomerate of synth pop futurism with sleek pop romanticism. “Still the same old me. I had to change what’s in my head,” Jones sings with pure positivity. His philosophical views on life are always a tug of war between reflecting and progressing. The music here, reflects it.
Going deeper into the recesses of his personal experience, “Mother,” I assume, is dedicated to his mother who passed away a few years back. It’s a beautiful synthetic ballad with gorgeous piano work nothing short of sincere.
Howard Jones – Hero In Your Eyes
What is missing from this album and the big pop numbers are the orchestrated horns Jones typically gravitates to like a glorious Tower of Power song. But none of that is missed when you have the synth heavy “Hero In Your Eyes.” It relies on the texture of intricacies to make a statement. And the way the synths twinkle into the listener’s mind on “At the Speed of Love,” is beautiful and elegant.
There are points within the album that you have to warm up to based on the weight of his earlier releases. Yet, Transform is an album that will surprise and delight any synth pop fan young and old. Howard Jones’ sound in Transform is an amazing innovative achievement proving he is nowhere near slowing down as a visionary.