Tuesday, January 30, 2007

And when you grow silent, I start to fall

Back in August, I wrote about American singer Jon McLaughlin, but he was in my big post on piano-based songs, so I don't know that he really got the attention deserved. I just found out some news about him, though, so I wanted to take the opportunity to write about him again. Jon has released albums before, but I think his new one, Indiana, is going to be his attempt to really "make it"--not only does he have more backing behind it, he also worked with the Matrix, among other producers, which to me implies he's really hoping for a hit off of this one (and apparently he's linked with an upcoming Disney movie; if you listen to the lyrics for what I think is going to be the lead single, "Beautiful Disaster," it sounds like it would fit in with the movie--the movie is about a princess, and the lyrics reference "happily ever after"--so it wouldn't surprise me if he tries to launch the single in tandem with the movie). I have nothing against singer-songwriters; after all, McFly certainly write their own songs, and, slightly more in the category of what you think of when you hear that term, Darius is a singer-songwriter. However, I think there's a certain sound you really expect when you hear "singer-songwriter"--something like John Mayer or Ben Folds--and, though I love my "boys with guitars" (or more accurately, in Jon's case it would be "boy with piano and some guitar") music, the "singer-songwriter" sound is one that I'm generally not all that fond of; rarely does it "pop" for me in the way that I prefer music to do. It remains to be seen whether or not Jon's album will impress me, but I still absolutely adore one of the songs that will be on it, and it's one of the ones I posted back in August.

Industry--since this is already shameless reuse of a song I posted months and months ago, why don't I just go all the way and recycle what I wrote then, too? (Lame, I know). "His songs are beautiful but there's also a bit of fun or passion in them--maybe something that I feel is missing from The Fray's song. The chorus has a bit of an anthemic feel. Midway through the song, there's a sudden quieting followed by an amazing build up; then, suddenly, the song feels like it stops, and you're left in the lurch, wanting more, before the chorus returns for one last go-round." I think that still stands, especially that last sentence. The song takes a little while to get going; though the chorus is good that first time around, you really have to wait for the second verse for it all to begin to come together, to get a feeling for where the song is going. Just when you think you know where it's going, though, you get that sudden drop in volume and that buildup I mentioned, and continue to love. The final return of the chorus is just as unexpected, too. If Jon himself wrote this song--which I presume he did, though I could be wrong--I think it shows he's someone worth paying attention to. Not everything I've heard by him has the same strength (some of it, which you can listen to here, falls too much into the singer-songwritery category for me; some of the songs he's had on his MySpace are on the CD and are better than the ones you can listen to there--I like "Praying To The Wrong God" a lot, too), but "Industry" means I'll be paying attention to him in the future. Basically, "Industry" is piano-based (piano pop-rock, maybe) with just enough jaunt for me to stay interested, pretty, catchy, and generally well-done, so if Jon's ever reduced to soundtracking Grey's Anatomy, at least you know he does have some good songs out there.

Jon McLaughlin's next album, Indiana, isn't out yet, but keep an eye on his official site so you know when you can buy it. Until then, you can buy an earlier album here.

Next up: hopefully that German band, but possibly that former Norwegian Idol contestant.


J'ason D'luv said...

Kelly Clarkson had a song called "Beautiful Disaster" on her very first album.... but she's not as hot as this guy.

Anonymous said...

Hey There!

Thanks for the support of the Indiana project! I'm working the publicity for his current tour with Matt Wertz. You should check out his performance on FOX 25- http://www.myfoxboston.com/myfox/pages/Entertainment/Detail?contentId=2182687&version=2&locale=EN-US&layoutCode=TSTY&pageId=7.3.1



Poster Girl said...

I thought of Kelly Clarkson when I heard that title, too--his song sounds nothing like hers, though (well, I guess they are both ballads).

Great, thanks for the info--I'll take a look at it!