Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
Possessing a remarkable gift for sterling melodic craft and richly drawn lyrical scenarios, Freedy Johnston remains one of the most compelling songwriters in contemporary American pop. This, his fourth album, is one of his... more »
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Possessing a remarkable gift for sterling melodic craft and richly drawn lyrical scenarios, Freedy Johnston remains one of the most compelling songwriters in contemporary American pop. This, his fourth album, is one of his strongest efforts, as impressive for the vividly drawn characters of "Western Sky" and "Hotel Seventeen" as it is for the pure-pop brilliance of "On the Way Out" and "I'm Not Hypnotized." Despite the unlikely presence of middle-of-the-road specialist Danny Kortchmar as producer and guitarist, the songs are well-served by compact, sharply focused arrangements that spotlight the artist's compositional strengths, and Johnston's plaintive, keening vocals possess an understated strength that gives his tunes an added level of urgency. --Scott Schinder
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Member CD Reviews
Ken N. (Kensurfer) from WESTBURY, NY
Reviewed on 8/10/2007...
I discovered Freedy via the Things To Do In Denver When Your Dead movie soundtrack. He plays nearby sometimes and is always a pisser.
Not Great, but more than good
jswillo | Crete, IL United States | 02/27/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I discovered Freedy through "This Perfect World" which I bought after hearing "Bad Reputation" (still as good a single as pop-chart radio has played in the last ten years). That album was a revelation - tuneful, literate lyrics, songs that engaged you and made you think, and melodies that stuck in your head for weeks. "Never Home" doesn't reach that level, but if you like Freedy (and not everyone does, I realize) you won't be disappointed in this effort. Freedy's gift for catchy melodies is in full evidence here, but, for me, the joy is in listening to the stories these songs are telling. Like a book of Raymond Carver short stories, his cast of quirky characters includes shoplifters, arsonists, aging hippies, UFO abductees and kids having an unwanted baby. You don't catch all this stuff right away, but, like a good book, the stories unfold the more you get into it. At the same time, there are a couple of achingly beautiful love songs in "Western Skies" and "You Get Me Lost". If you're unfamiliar with Freedy, I recommend "This Perfect World" as the first one to buy. However, if you have, and like, that great album, this is a very satisfying follow up that won't disappoint."
Very, very solid
John M. Abbott | Oakland, CA USA | 12/03/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Freedy Johnston fills Never Home, his follow-up to the flawless This Perfect World, with a host of intelligent, detailed stories about memorable characters.
Johnston kicks off the album with "On The Way Out," a driving slice of rock. The song tells the story of a shoplifter whose cleverness appears to be wasted on a store clerk who couldn't care less. A version of this song appeared the year before on the soundtrack to the movie Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead. I liked the rougher production of the earlier version, but the version on Never Home features stronger drumming.
Johnston's gift is painting pictures with his lyrics, and he doesn't disappoint on this album. "Western Sky" is a beautiful, rather offbeat tale of a man petrified of flying after his father died in a plane crash; you can not only feel his pain, but chuckle at the thought of how his fear might make a family trip to Disneyland an enormous hassle. "Gone To See The Fire" is told from the point of view of a girl who is starting to make some disturbing discoveries about her boyfriend. Sure, she's horrified, but she's also just plain irritated about being lied to. "If It's True" movingly examines a young man wrestling with the notion of becoming a father: "If I won't believe my own advice / I could never fool a child / And they don't forgive you once they see you've tried." And "Seventies Girl" deals with how the ghosts of the past aren't so easily dismissed.
I wouldn't mind if the album rocked a little more. "On The Way Out" really whets my appetite for some big, loud guitars, but Johnston only cuts loose one more time for the rest of the album, on "One More Thing To Break." This is a very minor complaint, though. It's still a wonderful collection of songs."