Today, I got the new HoJo album, Revolution of the Heart, via Amazon.com. I've listened to it twice, in the car. In fact my ride was longer than usual due to traffic and I didn't mind at all. I think it sounds great in the car because of the lush layers of music.
But I'm still in the "wow!" stage. Good craftsmanship all around - vocals, lyrics, music, themes. This is one of the first albums of his in a long time where I really feel he's pouring his heart and philosophy into it. More recent ones have tried to fit the pop category, but this one is just pure Howard Jones, like he's not trying to please anyone, just be himself. which means it is a bit difficult to categorize; however when importing it into my iTunes, it was classified as "Electronica/Dance." Close enough.
Some of it is pretty new age stuff (track 8 almost pays homage to Tangerine Dream). I really like "Presence of the Other"* - much wisdom and inspiration. It's also kind of cool the way he switches from electronic to acoustic piano halfway through. Very experimental. He has more than one song with anti-war lyrics (Black and White; Another Chance.) Go Howard!! In general he seems to be saying that the world has a lot of negative energy these days, and we have to put some positive energy back in and make the change "from the inside."
Unfortunately, other than the title track, there is no song that strikes me as a mainstream hit. And that song was first released a few years ago, but you never know, it might make a comeback, what with his recent TV appearances on both sides of the Atlantic.
Feel free to add your own thoughts here.
* The liner notes say that it was inspired by Daisaku Ikeda's 2004 Peace Proposal.