With The Adults Jon Toogood Forms Musical Union
“A set of eight songs inspired by the sounds he heard at his wedding in Sudan four years ago, Haja is unlike anything Jon Toogood, 46, has released to date,” according to The Australian’s Andrew McMillen. “Best known for fronting hard-rock band Shihad, this is his second release under the Adults name, following a self-titled 2011 debut where he formed a supergroup of notable New Zealand musicians.”
“Although he reprises that collaborative spirit here, stylistically the two albums are poles apart,” McMillen writes. “This work is rooted in an urban fusion genre known as aghani al-banat – ‘girls’ music’ in Arabic – which features Sudanese women singing chants and playing percussion. This blend of Arabic vocals with traditional Western instrumentation – chiefly drums and bass, with occasional lashings of electric guitar – results in a sparkling, fresh collection.
“Those fond of Toogood’s distinctive voice will have to wait until album’s end to hear him, on Gisma, a beautiful ode to his wife that he wrote after the birth of their first child. But it’s worth highlighting the overall boldness of Haja in this fact alone: although his fingerprints are all over these songs, Toogood has effectively benched himself in favour of pushing a new crop of talented performers to the front. Divorced from any preconceptions concerning the hard-rock pedigree of the Adults band leader, this unique musical marriage instead will be assessed on its considerable merits.”
Members of The Adults include Shayne Carter, Julia Deans, Anika Moa, Tiki Taane and Ladi6.
Original article by Andrew McMillen, The Australian, July 28, 2018.