Sunday, June 7, 2015

Neon Repairman - Album Review

Released Spring/Summer 2015
Neon Repairman - Freedy Johnston B
Darkness is My Friend

In 1992 Freedy Johnston released Can You Fly, a terrific album that sounds as good today as it did 20 years ago. A year later he released Unlucky, a flawless six-song EP that featured a popular cover of Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman." Primed for a breakout commerical hit, This Perfect World (his major-label debut) dropped in 1994 and brought Johnston the attention he so rightly deserved. In 1995 Rolling Stone magazine named him "Songwriter of the Year," and the Kansas native closed out the 90s by releasing two more brilliant albums, Never Home and Blue Days Black Nights. Johnston was surely on his way to becoming one of music's most important artists for years to come.

Fast-Foward to 2014, Neon Repairman, his first new album since 2010's Rain on the City, was successfully crowd funded and set for a late 2014 or early 2015 release. The current musical landscape looks nothing like the 90s, but ultimately this new album is vintage Johnston- albeit, a slow burn. IntialIy, with my hopes and expectations sky high, Neon Repairman didn't blow me away as a whole. But, there were enough hooks to keep me listening. After four or five spins, songs that didn't intially grab me were suddenly becoming my favorites, i.e., "Baby, Baby Come Home," "Summer Clothes," and "A Little Bit of Somethin' Wrong." This album may not break any new ground; however, all the things that make Johnston special are showcased here- great songwriting, interesting characters and a vulnerability that feels truly authentic. His fans won't be disappointed. Fans of the genre (acoustic-based/singer-songwriter/Americana) should check out Neon Repairman and/or one of the albums I mentioned above.

Favorite Tracks: Neon Repairman, TV in My Arms, Summer Clothes, Baby Baby Come Home, A Little Bit of Somethin' Wrong

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