REVIEWS - THE LAKE ACTS LIKE AN OCEAN (2007) THE WORD THE TIMES UNCUT ROCK SOUND THE INDEPENDENT Don't be fooled by the "Denver" in his name. He's all Swede. Not unless you count Jonsson's feel for the more romantic tropes of American indie-folk. Yes, Neil Young is traceable in his voice and in some of his melodies, but really this is the fuzzy introspection of M Ward and his ilk: quiet choogling in the face of a stand-offish, underwhelming nature. Why should you bother, when there's such a lot of this stuff around? Well, the aforementioned tunes can be lovely, as can the arrangements (strings and all); and Jonsson's Swedish way with a meteorological/seasonal image is striking. "Stay pale and stay warm" indeed. Download this: 'The Border': it's out there, you know THE SUN Rating **** FURTHER proof Americana is a state of mind comes with the new album from this Swedish singer. Against a backdrop of acoustic instruments, with pedal steel well to the fore, Thomas evokes dusty trails and wide American skies.The Swedes seem particularly good at finding their musical feet among the likes of Bonnie Prince Billy and this is a prime example.The delicate Only For Beginners could almost be Bonnie Prince at his most tender, while the dreamy One Of My Blessings again exhibits a rare lightness of touch. In a crowded marketplace, this album stands out. SC AMERICANA UK Rating 8/10 Thomas Denver Jonsson "The Lake Acts Like An Ocean" (Kite Records 2007) A truly independent recording best when it stays close to home Thomas Denver Jonsson is the alias of Thomas Jonsson. Now I could be wrong but isnít the point of an alias to disguise your true identity? Just sticking Denver in the middle just wonít do. That aside, The Lake Acts Like An Ocean is not only independent in content, defying easy labeling itís also independent in spirit which is far more important. You take Jonssonís music on his terms or not at all. Although the latter may not be an option once youíve listened to it. Jonsson seems perfectly at ease following a slice of gentle rock 'n' roll with one that is essentially poetry with a backing track, so What I Dream finds itself jostling for elbow room with The Border and Only For Beginners. The Lake Acts Like An Ocean is at its very, very best when itís at its most intimate, Like Friends Fully In Love is deeply confessional and is a song so simply but powerfully told, that it feels surrounded by an inky blackness. It is matched in its intensity by Possession and She Runs In Slow Motion, when Jonsson cuts he cuts deeply. He is a brave and incisive musician not afraid to let his songs fend for themselves, with only minimal assistance all not only survive but thrive, The Lake Acts Like An Ocean is not so much about the singer as the song. There are even two little gems of instrumentals, The Tap Dancers Union is as light on its feet as its name suggests it should be while Sacha Distel is one of those unforgettable moments when a musician sits down and plays with no thought for anything else. You donít have to listen too hard to hear the concentration and will that Jonsson expends on it. With this album Jonsson closes off his music, it exists here and the magic it creates could happen nowhere else. Date review added: Tuesday, February 12, 2008 Reviewer: Michael Mee® Jambase This is one of the best albums you'll hear in 2008. Given the short attention span nature of many folks these days it seems prudent to get the punchline out before the set-up. Mayhap now you'll stay to let me argue the case of Sweden's Thomas Denver Jonsson, a singer-songwriter of Bonnie Prince Billy and Cat Power proportions that's thus far flown below the radar of most in the States. On a slow rising arc since 2003, Jonsson has made deeply grooved inroads into the human condition, peeling away with poetry, melody and instrumental ingenuity the sticky layers of relationships, perhaps most poignantly one's relationship to themselves and to love, in the archetypal sense. At the risk of overloading his work with praise, Jonsson possesses an unerring ability to make us sing our way into ourselves and one another, and he's never been more reverberantly "on" than his third full-length, The Lake Acts Like An Ocean (Kite). My moment sinks to the well Please grant me your border I revalue next step every single day I lie next to the horizon Your blue voice surrounds me Guided by few, my grip bleaches Your face is indulging The border is rising over the trees I hear it calling, calling for me Strumming on a basement guitar and singing in a voice cracked, unvarnished feeling seeping through the breaches in his burnished wooden pipes. Jonsson is a pure songwriter, choosing the right setting, the right tones and colors, to fit each shifting mood. Where earlier releases downplayed his diversity a bit, here he steps boldly away from folksy tropes, adding electricity and rhythm with an assurance that echoes Iron And Wine's evolution the past few years. Lake contains huge sweeps in mood, from the naked tenderness of "Only For Beginners" to the phosphorescent, hold-your-breath shimmer of "Possession" to Townes Van Zandt-esque instrumental "The Tapdancers' Union" to the ringing carousel twirl of "She Runs In Slow Motion." Rather than feeling scattershot, Jonsson has crafted something cohesive, tightening each piece into sharp focus, with the whole feeling like a series of beautifully constructed wide shots and close-ups. The love his band, The September Sunrise, feels for his tunes is obvious in their patient nuances and exposed emotion that matches Jonsson's innate honesty. Fredrik Wilde (electric guitar, pedal steel), Tomas Lindberg (bass), Henric Stromberg (drums, percussion, vocals) and Carl Edlom (electric guitar, piano, organ, percussion, vocals), who also produced and engineered Lake, deserve a healthy portion of the credit for the overall vibe here. One would be hard pressed to find a more inviting records that also dishes out this level of truth telling. Their intuition for arrangements and textures, down to the tuba (courtesy of guest Anders Jonsson) that ushers out the final notes of "Love Campaign," speak of a collective personal investment in getting these songs across. One feels that group energy throughout in these descendents of Michael Nesmith's First National Band and Linda Ronstadt's early '70s bands. For anyone flipping their lid for Bon Iver, South San Gabriel or other multi-faceted strummers of our shared ache, The Lake Acts Like An Ocean is something special most fans of thoughtful rock will be richly rewarded by. 'Nuff said. Someone you love has flown to the sea For a better cause of the season Down where the trees are made out of gold Down within love campaign ROCK N REEL