Song writing and film making are not always synonyms of one another but Cholesterol Jones is changing that with his latest video ‘Satan’s In Heaven’, from his new EP of the same name. An EP dedicated to paralysing paradoxes, justified juxtapositions and subtle satire surrounding the leader of the free world. Using imagery of the devil strutting around Heaven in an array of jaunty, gospel inspired songs.
Cholesterol Jones is a folk singer with a serious talent in the story telling department. Using all the tricks of the trade through vague imagery to somehow still manage to create vivid pictures in your head. Coupled with the animation style music video for ‘Satan’s In Heaven’, Cholesterol Jones addresses serious issues in a veil of light hearted humour. One that is slowly lifted higher and higher as the music video plays out until everything is laid bare. The simplistic art style of the music video first depicts stick figure-esque characters conveying how they could represent anyone. Almost as a uniting front, acknowledging that the subject of the song is something felt by many people. As well as this the figures are all on laptops throughout the whole video implying the power the internet and creators on the internet have, adding power to the message of the video. The simple and easy to follow lyrics are super catchy and will have you calling ‘Satan’s in heaven’ until the man himself hears you. Of course with the EP’s cover art, music video and not always so subtle lyrics we cannot ignore the elephant in the room. That being that ‘Satan’s In Heaven’ is a song with political themes and feelings towards Donald Trump’s position as President. The song and music video combined seem to be a parody of Trump’s position as well as addressing the serious issues this causes.
Watch the music video here: https://vimeo.com/237889231
Satan’s in Heaven has more than political songs however, such as ‘The River Styx’ that leans more toward the genre of country rock whilst still maintaining an essence of folk. A soaring song crafted with the same attention and talent applied to each track on the EP. The beautiful toe tapping tune is an example of Cholesterol Jones’ versatility in music but also how he can still manage to stick to his musical roots. Another example of this is ‘He Claimed The Tree Of Life’, an emotional exploration of the mediations on life. Filling Satan’s in Heaven with music that brings to mind the likes of Tom Lehrer and Jake Thackray as well as the un-conventionalism of They Might Be Giants.
Cholesterol Jones’s intellect in music is no surprise considering his background and experiences. Being born on a US army base in Bavaria before moving to Boston and after a twenty year stay in New York, now splitting his time between London, Boston and Cape Code has given the musician keen observations of the world that have only become broader as time goes on. After some time playing live venues such as LA’s Whiskey-A-Go-Go and Soho’s 12-Bar Club, Cholesterol Jones is now dedicating his time to music and film making. With Satan’s in Heaven being only the beginning and out now. Although the subject of Cholesterol Jones’ music stays more on the side of dealing with the problematic, each track is dressed in a sharp wit and musical intuitiveness to provide hours of listening entertainment.
Review by Skye W. Winwood