The Prison Buffet is Jones’ fourth full-length album and his second release on Systematic Recordings. The buffet metaphor is perfect, with each track bringing a different style to the party. For example, accessible, laid-back tune The Incredible Sulk is pensive and smooth with its tongue-in-cheek lyrics and title. It stands in stark contrast to punk-infused, abrasive track The Irritant (Brain Damage Club). It’s like having the blancmange right there on the table next to the lamb vindaloo.
Standout tracks include Pinwheel Piaf and Love Needs An Invoice, with both demonstrating Jones’ heightened awareness of the mechanics of great song writing. The latter is a slow build with some neatly controlled dynamics, an electro-pop delight that is just rough enough around the edges. It’s delicious.
Hailing from NYC, Chelonis R. Jones fled to Europe to pursue his dreams of becoming an artist. His unique style has led him collaborate with artists such as M.A.N.D.Y, Booka Shade, Spektre, Oliver Huntemann and Röyksopp. Fans of these artists will find The Prison Buffet an incredibly rewarding listen thanks to its dance music roots.
Jones’ unique approach has also ensured a packed touring schedule and something of a cult following on both sides of the Atlantic.
A multi-disciplinary practitioner whose own artwork often accompanies his musical releases, his pared down composition choices reward closer listening with lyrics that bring to mind Brooklyn band The Hold Steady. In Non (Sense)?, he speaks of an L.A where ‘avoiding actors is like avoiding palm trees,’ and an earth where ‘no woman…has caught the hell that black women have caught.’ Race is undoubtedly a prevalent theme in his work, and his spoken words have weight as they slide across a warm but gnarled string melody.
On The Prison Buffet Chelonis R. Jones wants you to build emotional snacks out of your favourite tracks. Digest it all in one go and its sparse approach means you won’t be left feeling bloated. Instead, you will be craving more. His new material feels even more raw and personal than his previous offerings, a gamble that has unequivocally paid off on this album.
Chelonis R. Jones – The Prison Buffet (Soundcloud Album Preview) by systematicrecordings
2. Pinwheel Piaf
3. How To Entertain Your Colored Friends
4. The Irritant (Brain Damage Club)
5. The Soiree
7. Love Needs An Invoice
8. Dark Twain
9. $23 Life
10. The Incredible Sulk
11. Car Crash In Reverse