Back in 2021, I got the type of email you get about 50 times a day from PR people. “Hi Andy, I’ve got an artist you’re going to love.” What was different this time was that Ayron Jones’ “Child Of The State” was astonishing. Probably the album of that year, if you do polls of this type of thing – which I don’t. What I did do, mind you, was bore everyone in my vicinity about how wonderful this thing was.

Of course, there was all that tedious stuff about “genres”. He kept getting lumped in with “blues,” but he wasn’t, not really – and he definitely isn’t now – instead, Jones just got on with being brilliant. Since he started (his debut stuff was produced by Sir Mix-A-Lot) and began his journey to being a guitar hero, he’s played with artists like Run DMC, Shinedown, Public Enemy, Rahkim, Jeff Beck, Black Stone Cherry, Theory of a Deadman, Robin Trower, and Spearhead, plus opened for iconic acts The Rolling Stones, Guns ‘N’ Roses, and B.B. King.

Which brings us to “Chronicles Of The Kid.” He’s not the child of the state these days, but a big deal. This record reflects that. If you heard the opening single “Filthy” back in October last year, then it’s a fairly reasonable assessment of what’s going on. It gets itself into Prince type waters, heavy, yet still ready for the underground S and M club at 3.45 am. It’s not the same Ayron Jones, but it is a natural progression.

“Strawman” kicks things off with an immense opening riff, and like the debut, it’s way heavier than you think it’s going to be. Indeed, “Blood In The Water” presents a raw sound that serves as a link between this album and “Child Of The State” – “couldn’t cry on the day she died,” he sings here and it’s a testament to the cathartic nature of what he does.

But the different strands he weaves are right there on “Otherside” which brings dance and pop elements to the fore. Or the brilliant “My America” – an acerbic attack on USA 2023: “How can this be my America” goes a hook which hints at the arena rock shows Lenny Kravitz plays.

“Living For The Fall” may not sound like Bon Jovi, but the solo is pure Richie Sambora, and for me he is Bon Jovi (and his “Stranger In This Town” record stands as one of my favourites, still, and “Get High” takes us into an addiction spiral, delving again into darker themes.

The feeling of “anything goes” is all the way through “The Sky Is Crying” which starts with the line “They say that there’s comfort in the misery” and restrains itself to explore soulful waters.

And as it ends with “On Two Feet I Stand”  – a screeching hymn to Ayron Jones’ independence, and underlining his growth as an artist,  If you still want a handle on him, then “The Title” is the answer – “I came from the title, I came for the crown, I ain’t going down” – it sounds like a challenge. And if you know about the Ayron Jones story, he’s not shirking one of those.

Instead, he’s growing as an artist before our eyes. He’s not a kid anymore, but Ayron Jones is one of the finest artists around, and these, most certainly, are his chronicles and his alone.

Rating 9/10

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