Jonny has been one of my favorite artists, and I’m always anticipating where he takes his talents next. In this, his first studio release in seven years, Jonny transcends various genres of music, while maintaining his soul to blues balance. As always, I wasn’t disappointed. Some songs give you a Soul/Motown vibe; and would look good with someone current like Jay Z or Usher covering them. This release has material that cover artists covet. I wouldn’t be surprised if Joe Cocker, Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, or Michael Bolton eventually come calling. Some of the lyrics deal with social commentary, while others deal with relationships.
The title track Fight For My Soul is a ballad dealing with the problems associated with growing up in poverty. Breakin’ In and We Are The Same have catchy grooves that somehow make you picture the King Of Pop singing them. Not Right and River could have been written with Al Green in mind. Seasons is a big production orchestrated ballad that has Jonny’s vocals cutting through. What You’re Looking For has a contemporary soul sound to it. Blew Up (The House) is a nicely paced bouncy rocker.
The best cut is by far the ballad The Truth. It’s a great cut that makes your mind search for everything it reminds you of. It has great lyrics, and production sounding like Queen (including guitar work) vs. Beatles, that Steve Tyler would be at home singing. You gotta hear it. I’ll Always Be is another ballad that has a Beatle’s feel to it. All Of A Sudden is a nicely paced acoustic love song that features Jonny’s vocal range.
JL has one of the best soul searching voices out there, and his guitar nuances and licks are, as always, impeccable. If you haven’t seen him live, there isn’t anyone better!
By R.M. Engelman