Jo Oliver is a singer/songwriter, arranger, producer and multi instrumentalist (guitar, bass, drums, keyboards) from Germany, but sings in English. He has been performing since the age of fourteen as a guitarist, with singing being a more recent development. Essentially, he is a one-man band as he writes, sings, plays, records and produces his music entirely by himself.
His music is a fusion of rock, pop, funk and soul. His influences are eclectic, from epic rock like Queen and Led Zeppelin, to vocal groups like Earth, Wind And Fire. These influences are made manifest in this song, Shine On You. It’s a funk rock track with a tight groove and a fine vocal performance from Jo. In fact, the first rate quality applies to everything; powerful Led Zeppelin-style riffs and Chili Peppers funk guitar, with Van Halen-esque lead guitar and a funky, driving bassline.
There is a strong pop element as well, with the title providing a very catchy hook, backed by stacked vocal harmonies reminiscent of Queen. Jo manages to balance a well structured song while expressing his musical virtuosity, which some musicians would have allowed to take over. But Jo understands that the song is the most important thing, and displays his songwriting craft with style here.
Overall, this is a fine piece of funk rock from a highly talented and versatile singer songwriter, who is able to bring his artistic vision into reality with just his own abilities. Shine On You will appeal to those who enjoy commercial pop, but also to the more discerning music fans who appreciate fine musicianship. Jo Oliver has huge potential to reach a large fanbase and achieve his musical dreams with further material of this quality.
VERDICT: 8.6 out of 10