There is always a time and place for all music that makes what's being played enjoyable to hear. Even if it's a style or song that one a typical day someone might otherwise dislike, if it's played at the right time and/or place, that song can become at that moment liked. Finding the time and the place is the tricky part but I think I have found the time and place for most of the songs being played on the new album, Sparkle and Shine, by Jonny Kaplan & The Lazy Stars. It's time would be during the start of you day off work while the place would be with friends while hanging out having fun and quite possibly at a local country bar. Sparkle and Shine has a swagger to it but that comes from the country sound being used in the songs. While it might be country, it also includes songs that use the rthym of rock and a little indie music building some sturdy songs.
Now typically I'm not a country music listener but I stand by how in the right place and time any song can become a likable hit. With Jonny Kaplan & The Lazy Stars the right place is in an environment that will allow you to sing out loud with all the others singing and nothing seems odd about that. Most of the songs are a country/rock where the pacing has a regulated pace being used while Jonny Kaplan puts the twang in his voice. This music does what country music is one of the best at, being able to tell a story in the song. Most songs do tell stories but country does it in a way where it could be a short description about a book. Sparkle and Shine does exactly that, tells the story of Jonny Kaplan as he makes his way through life.
Jonny Kaplan uses different tempos for the songs, most of the songs though are on the slower side, even for country, then there are the quick paced songs like the opening one “Sparkle and Shine”. Which is my only real gripe about the album is that with such a strong opening I expected the whole album to be this way. It's not, it does have some slow moments with the pacing of the instruments keeping a low tempo and Jonny Kaplan singing softer. However, the pacing of the album does work out well overall and I still enjoyed the songs.. Jonny Kaplan has a sturdy voice, one that's good for country music, and he has made some songs that will go over quite well during karaoke. Sparkle and Shine has some catchy, easy to learn lyrics that will be good for singing along and with the twang of the guitar and the light tapping on the drums, the songs are hard not to like. With the mixing of sounds being used in the songs that make Sparkle and Shine not only a country rock album but an album that could be considered indie country rock with some blues sprinkled in there, I found that Jonny Kaplan and The Lazy Stars made me like country just a bit more than I did before.