1. Today, Today, Today
2. Coming Back Alone
3. Black & White Matinee
4. You’re Sweet On Him
5. Falling Down
6. Caledonia Road
JJ Appleton is back. I’ve been looking forward to his next release, and with “Black & White Matinee” they day has finally come. An underestimated singer/songwriter with creative songsmith abilities, humor, passion and a whole lot of pure energy, is here to show you what he is capable of. “Black & White Matinee” is a clever, 5-piece album that has no real weak points.
Today, Today, Today
The EP starts with a catchy tune that reminds me of The Beatles in their most catchy moments, a playful melody that seduces the listener to get involved. Today Today Today has the right radio format to be heard by the masses yet sounds actual and original, and lyrically it stands above much of what we do get to hear all the time.
Coming Back Alone
Coming Back Alone is very much a song in a tradition that is quite popular at the moment; A popsong with a jazzy, soulful character, lately made popular by artists like Keaton Simons, Jason Mraz, James Morrison, Colbie Caillat & Gavin DeGraw. The comparison with Keaton Simons is probably the most accurate as they both are fine songsmiths with the ability to create songs that are both old and new of character. Therefore Coming Back Alone is very much a timeless piece of music, and JJ Appleton has performing in his blood, so he brings this as convincingly as you can expect.
Black & White Matinee
The title track of the EP has that alternative rock & roll feel that we know so well from this artist. It has a bit of a groovy underlying beat that works towards a climax in this song. I can hear hints of Oasis and Pulp (though that might be just me) but it kinda has the same alternative pop feel. JJ Appleton’s in his element here, and when he is, all you can do is sit back and enjoy.
You’re Sweet On Him
A title that reminds me of James Taylor & George Harrison, and it’s no coincedence I name these two musical greats. The folky/bluesy sound that these two could create is also the basis for this song. This intimate, pretty song is something that reminds me of “the good old days” of singer/songwriter (the folk age of the late 60s/early 70s). To me, this is the best song on the EP, but I am a little biased cause this kind of music is what I grew up with. The intimate, personal folk song that speaks straight from the heart. JJ Appleton performs You’re Sweet On Him with passion & emotion and hits the nail right on the head.
Falling Down is another good song, but if I had to pick one song on this EP that is my least favorite, it would probably be this one. But this man just knows how to write great pop songs, so I can’t say that it’s bad or anything. You can definitely hear the British influence that JJ Appleton earned during his stay in the UK and he incorporates that in his songs flawlessly. Falling Down is yet another perfect example of this singer/songwriter’s talent.
The playful, yet slightly mysterious intro to Caledonia Road leads right into JJ Appleton’s strong vocals and groovy composition. Lyrically this might be the strongest song on the album and Caledonia Road has a jazzy-like swing to it that makes it somewhat catchy and emotional. I would personally love to hear this kind of tune on the radio, but I’m afraid that I’m standing quite alone in that. But if you listen to this song, really listen to it, you can really hear how great it actually is.
JJ Appleton brought us three great albums with modern day rock & roll before releasing this energetic EP that was created while hiding out in England. “Black & White Matinee” is just what we expected from JJ Appleton. Another example of splendid, honest and powerful rock & roll with a modern alternative twist. With the catchy Today Today Today, the piano-driven, soulful Coming Back Alone and other radio-friendly, modern-day pop/rock tunes that can compete with popular acts like Gavin DeGraw, Keaton Simons, Jason Mraz, James Morisson and Daniel Powter. And maybe JJ Appleton’s relatively lesser known status gives these songs a little more, because he has to work hard to get his songs out there, he has to put all of himself in his songs, and you can hear that. “Black & White Matinee” is another successful effort on a great musical journey that JJ Appleton is on.