“Midnight Oil” is one of the most awesome albums of its kind I have heard in months. It is nothing less than breathtaking. Each and every note is pure gentle seduction itself. Jonah Kue’s voice is, of course, the most stunning part of the sound. This man can sing like an angel, yet be earthy – he has an edgy urgency about him – and these are the things that I truly appreciate. There are only a handful of singers that I could literally listen to all day, and Jonah is one of them. The album is an interesting mix of music, between electronica elements, pure pop and some alternative, there’s something that will appeal to most people who like powerful melodies, moving lyrics and ear-friendly soundscapes.
Raised in New York and Chicago, after emigrating from Bangladesh as a child, Jonah Kue writes, composes, and performs all his music. Lyrically, his songs maintain a perspective of one who is trying to decipher his role in foreign and new circumstances. The first thing that the songs on “Midnight Oil” shows off is Jonah’s voice.
His voice is just so pure, and his range is unbelievable. You can feel his emotions when he sings. He has the most subtle vibrato which he remains in control of. The times he may go into falsetto, you’ll get chills down your spine.
From the moment you listen to the opening track, “Homely”, with its spiritual aura, you can just sense the passion, tenderness, intensity, and desire. Actually, it’s ridiculous that I’m even trying to describe his voice, you should be listening to it yourself.
Every track is a highlight here, so it’s hard to narrow it down to the standouts. “The Deep End” featuring Samuel and XCORCIST, is a lush song layered with strings and dreamy keyboards. “Brendan” with Play Stay Shawn ushers in growling low-end synths and a slow burning melody.
“The Dance Floor” is pure up-tempo pop in every sense of the word. It’s very well produced, rhythmic, and very, very melodic. Jonah sings about a lot of things not sung about in pop music, and he does it in a deep, profound way. Often he uses one-word song titles that betrays the perception of the thoughtful and reflective lyrical depth these songs contain.
This is easily the case with two of the album’s most eloquent tracks – “Samoses” and “Whip”. The distance between what the title conjures up in our mind, and what the song actually delivers in emotional and intellectual quotients, is immense, and surprisingly positive.
In between, you’ll find the urban groove of “Come Around” featuring Phoenyx Novelle, delicately and sparsely spiced with Jonah’s falsetto, and rap verses. As can be expected, the one-word titled “Curtains”, has the same ‘surprising’ effect as the two aforementioned songs.
All of course are beautifully crafted with yet another demonstration of his great vocals, and the sultry tones that show the more provocative side of Jonah Kue’s music – tantalizing beats, hypnotizing melodies, and a passion to die for.
Jonah leaves the most bombastic arrangement for last with “Green and Blue”. But its only such in places, with the heavy percussion underscoring the harmonic elements, and the soothing vocals. Overall, the tracks are excellent on “Midnight Oil”.
Jonah Kue demonstrates a uniquely unclouded and sincere take on what it is to be a singer and a songwriter. His songs are carefully crafted to give them definition and individuality. They reflect on life and urge listeners to slow down and consider these thoughts profoundly.