Four Music - Sony BMG
February 27, 2009

Track list
  1. Little Closer
  2. Good Girl
  3. Ten Million Miles
  4. Jah Children
  5. Teardrops
  6. Where Am I
  7. Corrupted Minds
  8. Stranger In This Land
  9. Reasons
  10. Sometimes
  11. Good Girl (Jondo Remix)
  12. Little Closer (Don Krutscho Remix)
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 5 Backing : 3/4 Production : 5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
Already Germany's newcomer of the year in 2004's poll of Germany's riddim-reggaemagazine without an official solo release under his belt, just known for the wonderful "Wunderlampe" on Silly Walks' "Songs Of Melody", then impressing almost 4 years ago with his first EP "Rainbow Warrior" and later in 2005 with the equally impressive (song taken from the soundtrack for the German big screen movie picture by Peter Thorwarth "Goldene Zeiten") "The One" and two years ago with two more releases from his excellent album "Echo & Smoke", "Are You Really Waiting" and "Jah Gringo", Martin Jondo, Berlin resident, son of a German father and a Korean mother, who rose to a certain fame (at least in Germany) through his appearance as support act on Gentleman and Mellow Mark tours, and his guestspot alongside Tamika on Gentleman's "Live" for the song "Rainy Days", then released yet another single "Hurtful Game" on Homeground Records from his excellent album "Echo & Smoke", produced like "Rainbow Warrior", "The One" and "Jah Gringo" by the Berlin based - originally rap-producer, also involved in Mellow Mark's releases -, Kraans de Lutin, who co-wrote most of Martin Jondo's songs.

And now Martin Jondo Sprung drops not only his last name, but also his first name to release under just his middle name Jondo a completely acoustic singer-songwriter album appropriately called "Pure". Released on major Sony BMG, this whole album is made in the basic constellation of just a voice and a guitar, with all songs also written, composed and produced by Jondo, with Benni 'Blanco' Bazzazian as recording engineer. (Martin) Jondo is showing once more that with fellow German reggae singer-songwriter Patrice he shares his melodic delivery, the ability to sound vulnerable, but also the ability to be so much in command of the riddim that even as a singer he is also able to ride the (rudimentary acoustic guitar) riddim. Jondo's distinct voice has always been the central focus of his songs and now it has become the only focal point, as sweet opener "Come A Little Closer" immediately shows extremely clear. It's followed by the clever sourish observation about people getting lost in this too individual society and then becoming addicted like the "Good Girl" in the song and "Ten Million Miles", a song written more than 10 years ago when Jondo didn't go the school where he was supposed to go about trying to reach your hope.

"Jah Children" is probably the song of which the atmosphere is closest to that most famous of all acoustic reggae songs, Bob Marley's "Redemption Song" and despite or because of that one of the strongest tunes on this album, before Jondo sings in "Teardrops" about begging the lord not to lose a good friend and the almost Bruce-Springsteen-like (weaker) "Where Am I". In "Corrupted Minds" the acoustic guitar backing is estranging and miles apart from (even acoustic) reggae but it is a very strong tune about so-called-friends followed by the even stronger "Stranger In This Land" about the exclusion of immigrants from the 'national(ist) feel(ing)' and "Reasons" against oppression. The last (acoustic) song on the album is one of the best, the melancolic yet uplifting "Sometimes". This album has an enormous potential to cross-over to folk, blues and singer-songwriter yes even pop audiences, but I'll honestly admit, that my true favourite tunes of the "Pure" album are the reggaefying remixes of "Good Girl (Jondo Remix)" by Martin Jondo himself and "Little Closer (Don Krutscho Remix)" by former Culcha Candela producer Don Krutscho, closing a very strong singer-songwriter album with brilliant singing and excellent lyrics that could have been even better in my opinion if it would have been backed by 'full riddims' instead of a single guitar.