CJ Ramone – American Beauty
Release Date: March 17, 2017
Label: Fat Wreck Chords
Since 2012, CJ Ramone has released three albums of his own original material and they have all proved in their own way that not only is there life after the Ramones but that CJ Ramone is very capable of creating his own, timeless classic punk rock and roll material. To simply knock him off as a Ramones clone is ridiculous for two reasons: 1 – He’s a fucking Ramone and 2- The Ramones were a huge part of his life so of course the songs are going to sound like lost Ramones classics. Trust me, there are far worse things someone could be compared to so to be able to release material that stands tall besides even the most classic of Ramones songs is a fucking feat in itself.
CJ Ramone’s latest album American Beauty is not only a fantastic record but it’s CJ’s best one to date. Kicking off with “Let’s Go”, I literally got goosebumps because I felt like Joey Ramone himself could have written this song. Much like the Ramones song “Touring”, “Let’s Go” is CJ’s ode to his love and respect for his fans and for the ability to continue spreading the Ramones’ legacy. American Beauty is chockfull of great songs but it’s the song “Tommy’s Gone” that stuck out to me as the real show stopper. With its sparse arrangement of acoustic guitar, tambourine, and a distant drum, this song really showed CJ’s ability to think outside of the box and dig deep to pull out a sentimental song of depth.
With American Beauty, CJ Ramone isn’t looking to invent the wheel but what he does prove is that he isn’t nearly done with his journey. CJ’s songs are every bit as catchy, fun, and carefree as some of the most classic Ramones songs as he creates his own collection of timeless, classic punk rock n’ roll. For this long time CJ Ramone fan, it’s so great to know that he’s really only just begun to tap into what he is capable of. American Beauty and CJ Ramones reminds me that sometimes rock n’ roll can just be simple and still be effective, emotional, and fun as all fuck.