Jaron Lowenstein (Alias: Jaron and the Long Road to Love) used to be a pop singer—as one half of the twin brother duo Evan and Jaron, he scored a major mainstream hit in 2000 with “Crazy For This Girl.” And if there’s one thing his new single “That’s Beautiful To Me” proves, it’s that despite his commercial reinvention as a country artist, he’s still a pop singer—if not because of marketing then because of musical soul.
Self-written and self-produced, Jaron’s follow-up to the Top 20 hit “Pray For You” is a smooth, piano-driven slice of acoustic pop that’s more Dawson’s Creek than Dukes of Hazard. Of course, that’s true of much of today’s country format, and in a way it’s refreshing that Lowenstein pays so little attention to window dressing his product—he presents this song exactly as it is, without so much as a hint of format-pandering fiddle, banjo or steel.
The result is a pleasant little song that’s sweet to the ears, relatively organic and devoid of the kind of obtuse “I’m country!” instrumentation that typically underscores crossover efforts. Lowenstein has a soothing voice that glides along as he gives listeners insight into the reasons why his lover is beautiful.
Those reasons are expectedly complimentary, but in much the same way as “Pray For You” was unfailingly vengeful, “That’s Beautiful To Me” is almost awkwardly flattering. Language like “Your kindness and your sweetened soul lingers like perfume” is poetically heavy-handed and almost sickeningly sweet.
Saccharine sentiments aside, “That’s Beautiful To Me” is too cluttered to be especially charming. Lowenstein cites a wide list of unrelated examples of beauty, and then builds no segues or transitions between them.
It sounds pretty, but without narrative glue to hold the lyrical pieces in place “That’s Beautiful To Me” crumbles under the weight of too much information.