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Reviewed by Abbey Harker-Ferguson

Jonathan Densem: And I’m Saying It Now

Reviewed by Abbey Harker-Ferguson

Jonathan Densem: And I’m Saying It Now

Jonathan Densem is a talented singer/songwriter and accomplished pianist, who when faced with adversity made the brave choice to not only continue, but to create.

Densem’s album ‘And I’m Saying It Now’ is a collection of songs that speak to real life events and personal experience. The 18 songs themselves were written over 25 years, taking a further year to record, under quite extraordinary circumstances.

Not yet 50, Densem recalls feeling ‘weirdly sick’ for the best part of the year before seeing a neurologist. By the end of 2015 he found out he had a significant brain tumour and, subsequent to surgery, a likely life expectancy of less than a year.

So this album was a do-it and do-it-now Givealittle-funded dream for the Christchurch music teacher. Part of that dream was recording at Auckland’s Roundhead Studios.

Super experienced producer Greg Haver put the band together for the album – himself as drummer, Mark Hughes on bass, Ben King and Tom Healy on guitar and pianist Steven Small.

With engineering by Nick Poortman and mixing in the UK by Clint Murphy, the production quality is of the highest, clean and to the point.

An assortment of styles are used to tell his stories, from dramatic and romantic ballads to upbeat and colourful melodies, from stripped back and intimate arrangements to more full and complex arrangements.

Second track on the album, Cape Reinga, is one of the first songs he ever wrote. Each verse sashays its way to a complete sounding chorus, bursting with passion and energy.

Densem’s own musicality is undeniable, the incredible team of musicians featured a fulfilment of his talent. ‘And I’m Saying It Now’ is a collection of musical tales that tell different stories, all you have to do is listen.