May 20, 1985 12:00 PM

Howard Jones

During the synthesizer segment of this year’s Grammy Awards, the four featured artists were Stevie Wonder, Thomas Dolby, Herbie Hancock and Howard Jones. Jones earned this honored position as a result of his popular debut album, which contained the hit New Song. This follow-up record should cement his place as one of the most engaging of the new breed of technician-musicians. Dream Into Action was recorded at Rupert Hine’s Farmyard Studios, and Hine, who has produced both of Jones’ albums, is a perfect choice. Not only is he a sought-after keyboard player, but he knows his way around the cold chambers of synthpop better than anyone. Hine adds an astute touch by making fine use of the TKO Horns. That helps Jones combine a rosy romanticism with the bleached reserve of the synthesizer. On Look Mama and Things Can Only Get Better, Jones proves he is a trencherman when it comes to a meaty hook too. He is effective whether the mood is jaunty or somber, as on Elegy and No One Is To Blame. He can, at times, get caught up in overly ornate constructions, but this record sets a standard that other synthesizer whiz kids will not easily be able to match. (Elektra/Asylum)

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