Software author, former candidate for the United States Senate, published self-help author. These are a few of the many pies thirty-one year old Jonathan Bannon Maher has his fingers deep in, but it doesn’t indicate a lack of focus. Instead. Maher is a multi-faceted thinker and artist, a quasi-Renaissance man in distinctly un-Renaissance world. A variety of outlets has featured his music, including MTV and iTunes, and the praise he’s garnered is considerable.
A perusal of his website and other materials might prompt some to ask themselves what a fresh-faced, upper-class young man knows about the hard knocks of love or its lack. Such questions are pointless. His music answers them conclusively in the first notes of “The Fallout of Love”. The gentle, almost lyrical, acoustic guitar peers out of the mix with a sensitivity beyond his years. His vocal, full of deep yearning, matches the guitar’s melodic touch.
There is a danger, with any love song, that the lyrical content can strike the listener as too sentimental or clichéd. Maher avoids those pitfalls through the sheer sincerity of his voice. He never glosses over words, carefully enunciates each line, and the final effect drives home the point that Maher’s investment is total. His music proudly trumpets its influences, but never strikes one as imitative.
While one hopes that Maher strikes into less certain territory with future outings, this New Jersey native is a writer able to bridge any gaps in his experience with sincerity, a burgeoning poetic sensibility, and strong musical skills. His skills as an arranger are obviously quite strong and, like other areas in his life, he is a musical polymath who plays every instrument on this debut. With time and further commitment, Maher will continue to morph into an important songwriter and “The Fallout of Love” is an important step towards that goal.