Caroline Jones Invokes Mixed Reviews

Welcoming the weekend with country tunes, Andover hosted singer and songwriter Caroline Jones in the Den last Friday night.

Jones, who is currently a student at New York University (NYU), is a budding singer whose music is a blend of pop and country. Jones’ set consisted of her own original work, as well as a cover of a Bob Dylan song, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.”

Jones began her performance with energy, and before the first song was over, people were clapping.

Along with the vocalization in each of her songs, Jones made great use of three instruments: a banjo, a guitar and a harmonica. With lingering high notes and soulful choruses, she demonstrated her talent as a singer, but student reactions varied.

“She sounded really whiny and screechy,” said Emily Carrolo ’13.

“Her voice was really incredible. The way she mixed both the harmonica and banjo into her songs, often at the same exact time, really worked and was very interesting to me, especially since I was not very familiar with that genre of music,” said Greg Cameron ’13.

“[The harmonica] was a fresh addition to her style of music,” said Siddarth Palaniappan ’13.

As the evening progressed, the focus on the troubles of women emerged as a common theme.

One song raised the issue of women and youthful appearance.

“There is a fear of aging in our world, [so] I wrote this song for all the women, who think they need to get Botox or facelifts after the age of thirty to be beautiful,” said Jones.

Jones’ efforts to interact with the audience were notable, as she took the time to talk with the audience between songs, as well as to explain the inspiration behind each song.

“I like how she gave background on each song. It gave the audience a personal connection to her,” said Palaniappan.

According to Jones, Botticelli’s painting, “The Birth of Venus,” inspired one of her songs, which was about a past relationship.

“[‘The Birth of Venus’] is just a picture of vanity. When I looked at [that painting], it reminded me so much of my ex-boyfriend,” said Jones.

In another instance, Jones prefaced one of her songs with a story about a fan named Tory, who approached her at a concert.

“She asked me if I had any songs about girls whose boyfriends went off to college and cheated on them with lots of girls, and I said, ‘No I haven’t written that one yet.’ Then she [asked], ‘Will you please write me a song like that?’ So I wrote this,” said Jones before starting her next song.

Jones’ enthusiasm was appreciated, though some listeners suggested she needs to develop a more natural on-stage demeanor. “She tried too hard,” said William Rodriguez ’13.

Jones was searching for her identity as a performer to complement her songs. “She looked like she was trying to be Taylor Swift,” said Greer McBeth ‘12.

Though some students thought Jones could improve particular aspects of her music, all welcomed the weekend distraction. “It was a nice break from a rainy day,” said Jing Qu ’13.