‘The new Dylan’ has been the tag line hung like a noose around the neck of many an emerging male solo artist down the years. Without loading Jon Allen down with the heavy Dylan mantle that has crushed so many with the weight of expectation unfulfilled, it can be said without hyperbole that his music shares a natural connection with Dylan’s in its lyrical and melodic approach.

Allen’s new album ‘Sweet Defeat’ might just be his ‘Blood On The Tracks’. Like Dylan’s 1974 classic it’s a break up record. Far from being a purely melancholic offering it expresses the full range of emotions that love elicits from the heady abandon of the first flush of romance to the sadness and regret of love lost and hope obscured. Recorded with the same producer and group of musicians who contributed to his acclaimed debut album ‘Dead Man’s Suit’, ‘Sweet Defeat’ is an eleven-song collection that displays the maturity and cohesiveness of an artist growing in confidence. It builds on acoustic foundations, ranging from solo finger picked songs to the album’s title track, an upbeat number complete with a brass section that conjures up memories of Van Morrison at his soulful best.


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