Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Blues, Pop, Rock, Metal, Christian
The Grammy-nominated, former prodigy instrumentalist, who topped the Billboard New Artist chart with his first album at age 15, stands now as a mature creative force, made more sensitive yet also toughened by life's adv... more »
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The Grammy-nominated, former prodigy instrumentalist, who topped the Billboard New Artist chart with his first album at age 15, stands now as a mature creative force, made more sensitive yet also toughened by life's adventures. He's learned what it means to rise above hard times and to find meaning where chaos seemed to rule. These insights, and the emotions they unleash, makes Turn Around the pivotal album of Jonny Lang's career to date - a passage that links the triumphs of his past to the promise of his future. A soul-stirring organ, played by Grammy-winning producer Shannon Sanders, forecasts the surge of music that follows on Turn Around: the stomping funk of "Bump in the Road," the startling climax that closes "The Other Side of the Fence," the electrifying vocal exchanges with Michael McDonald on "Thankful," and on the opposite extreme, the work-gang chant that drives "Turn Around" and the profound intimacy of "Only a Man" ... Turn Around is all of this and more, a tumble of musical colors that dazzle and soothe. And in the end, they achieve coherence through the meaning that Lang conveys so urgently. "With this album I want to focus, more than ever before, on my purpose in life," he explains. "I've been so incredibly blessed. My wife and I just had our fifth anniversary. I get to do what I love for a living. But it wasn't so long ago that I was spiraling downward in a lot of ways, until God touched my life and set me on the right track. I feel a huge debt to give glory back to Him for everything He has done for me. It's the least he can do." That said, Turn Around is not slotted only to listeners who have - or have not - undergone this kind of transformation. It inspires, excites, and gets people on their feet - but it doesn't preach. "I understand that not everybody believes as I do," Lang says, "which is fine. I just want to sing about what's going on in my life and let people make up their own minds about that." For all the conviction that Lang brings to Turn Around, the album began almost as an afterthought. Lang was in the studio one day with his producer, Ron Fair, who is also president of A&M/Interscope Records. There wasn't anything pressing on the agenda; they were doing routine work on the final stages of Lang's previous record, Long Time Coming. Then, out of the blue, Fair said something completely unexpected. "He looks at me and goes, `Dude, you need to make a gospel record,'" Lang says, laughing at the recollection. "Now, I hadn't really mentioned much to Ron about that side of my life, but for some reason he knew where I was at. So I thought about it for just a second and said, `Yes, I do.'" There is plenty of gospel in Turn Around, especially in the choir that riffs through "Thankful" and "It's Not Over." But rustic country ("On That Great Day," with guests Buddy Miller and Sam Bush), Motown funk ("One Person at a Time"), jazzy folk ("My Love Remains"), and other influences flavor this music too. In this varied setting, "gospel" has more to do with the spirit that animates these tracks than any category it might inhabit.
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Member CD Reviews
Brittany V. from EL CAJON, CA
Reviewed on 9/3/2009...
alot of gospel influence, great cd
Raef N. (Budgie) from GAITHERSBURG, MD
Reviewed on 2/20/2008...
If you are expecting the rocker/bluesman, don't get this one.
With Turn Around, Jonny Lang took indeed a very big turn in his music. No more scorching electrifying guitar. You can still see him rip his LP and Tele live though.
A very weak production (very noticeable) for some mediocre pieces.
Jonny Lang needs to get himself a real producer to bring back to life his incredible talents.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Justin R. (vicromano) from HOLLEY, NY
Reviewed on 3/22/2007...
Jonny Lang is an incredible artist. His music is full of heart and his talent shows throughout the album. It spans multiple genres; blues, rock, gospel, pop. And even with all the genre's his faith shines. There's a reason why he won a Grammy.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Debbie S. (staffymom) from LYONS, OR
Reviewed on 2/12/2007...
This disc has 15 tracks, not 2.
A must have for Jonny Lang fans.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
The Blues Guitar is Missing
Randall Richmond | Santa Rosa, CA United States | 10/02/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Artists have the right to change directions and seek new audiences - and in some cases the change is well received. With that in mind, Jonny is no longer the blues guitarist of his earlier albums, he has taken a new direction into R&B - I agree with the reviewer that said he now sounds like Stevie Wonder. If that is what you like, then buy this. If you are looking for great guitar, look elsewhere.
(Have you ever noticed that when someone writes a review that doesn't give the artist 4 or 5 stars - the reviewer gets slammed in the votes?)"
Gospel Infused Soul, Funk & Blues
Darren | Jersey Shore, NJ USA | 09/24/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Turn Around is the long awaited redemption we all needed from Lang's last project (Long Time Coming) which was a disappointment for many of his fans. This is not a pure gospel project but rather an enjoyable and explorational blend of gospel infused soul, funk and blues with some tinges of country and jazz. Lang's spirituality permeates the entire project which is what makes it so genuine and soulful. No, it's not "Smokin", "Lie to Me" or even "Wander this World" but it's a good transition album for the next exciting phase of Lang's musical evolution. For Lang, "Turn Around" is the 'real deal' as he showcases more of his own songwriting and also allows his spiritual renewal to permeate.
Turn Around conveys a spiritual theme and projects a positive energy, and musical vibration throughout. On this project, Lang transforms his blues energy into something more lyrically upbeat and positive.
Although I sometimes enjoy listening to the blues genre, the traditional blues have a tendency to get stuck in the low side of the energy level. Even when the passion and intensity of the story or message is there and the music is good, listening to the blues can often be very draining. It's like listening to someone's problems over and over. Although the person singing the blues may be a good musician and a good storyteller, the experience is often very draining as opposed to uplifting and rejuvenative. The blues have their place in my collection and my alotted listening time. In this project, Lang transcends his blues roots without abandoning them altogether.
In Turn Around, Lang takes his bluesy style to a "well-behaved" revival where he adds some soulful funk to his gritty vocals in addition to furthering the development of his falsetto. He also summons a choir as backup on a few tracks and along with the addition of the organ, these are just fantastic in adding a gospel element to the project.
Although some others found the clapping on some tracks rather annoying, I personally enjoy it, especially on the title track. The clapping reflects that positive energy I often refer to. It makes you want to clap along or stomp your feet as if you were there. It draws you into the music and puts you into the rhythm and the groove. Great stuff!
Turn Around is my favorite track on this project. The vocals are gritty and the organ and the clapping really convey the feel of a gospel revival in a most soulful and bluesy way. Thankful, the track with Michael McDonald is soulful and upbeat and also conveys a great musical and vocal synergy. Bump in the Road is also a major highlight. Anything's possible and One Person at a Time convey notable messages but get somewhat lost in the land of generically bland pop music.
I also like the track called Last Goodbye. Lang's vocals reach a new level of high here and in this track, he seems to be opening up a door to something much jazzier. Although this track seems out of place on this project and is bit of a tease, Lang seems to be cracking open an exciting new musical door on this one.
Although I prefer the grittier vocals and harder edged guitarwork, Only A Man is a very enjoyable track. Langs vocals here are more restrained but pure, and the level of production on this track is just perfect. It's soulful and bluesy. The musical arrangement and Haylie's (Lang's wife)angelic voice combine to create a sound which I can best describe as "Celtic Country". This is a very passionate and emotionally moving track. The other track which also emanates this "Celtic Country" sound is That Great Day. It sounds like Haylie does background vocals on this track too, however she's not listed on the liner notes for it.
Overall, this seems to be an excellent transition project for Lang. His vocals and song-writing seem to be progressing nicely but I just wish his guitar wasn't so restrained on this project. I can't wait to hear the tracks from Turn Around, live in concert. In concert, I'm hoping his guitar will be less restrained. When he lets loose with his guitar in concert, he will unleash the intense musical power of his gospel and will have believers and non-believers shouting AMEN!