Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Johnny Boy-What I Have to Give, Let it Be Enough

January 1, 2007

johnnyboyBand Name: Johnny Boy

Album Name: What I Have to Give, Let it Be Enough

Best Element: Sounds like nothing that’s been done before

Genre: Pop

Website: http://www.myspace.com/johnnyboyuk

Label Name: n/a

Band E-mail: johnnyboymail@talktalk.net

Johnny Boy’s debut effort may just be the best punk album of the year. And… it’s not even punk. Like the bustling city awash with fireworks depicted on the album’s cover, Johnny Boy creates a busy, epic soundscape of trumpets, air traffic, bells… and that’s just on the first track. More importantly, the London duo carry an anything-goes attitude throughout the whole of the record, something that’s been sorely missing in modern pop music.
Nothing on Johnny Boy quite reaches the dizzying heights of former single “You Are The Generation That Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve.” It is quite possibly the most brilliant down-with-consumerism song that’s ever been recorded. From the very first listen it sounds like a long-lost classic, all shimmering doo-wop vocals and instrumental grandeur. It is undoubtedly on the short list of perfect pop songs recorded this millennium. “Johnny Boy Theme” and “All Exits Final” nearly match the success of “You Are The Generation…,” while other tracks (namely the boisterous “Living In The City” and sing-along “15 Minutes”) go for a dancier approach. Most everything on Johnny Boy sounds like nothing that’s ever been released, which is an absolute credit to those involved, given the cyclical nature of the pop scene.
The only time the record takes a dip is with a pair of tracks, “Springer” and “War on Want,” which are too sparse in actual vocals to garner much attention. More successful is “Bonnie Parker’s 115th Dream,” which sounds frighteningly like something Adam Ant would concoct if he was still making music. While Johnny Boy is a dense, sometimes challenging album, those listeners that stick around will be rewarded with one of the most refreshing pop debuts in a good long time. A-

Key Tracks: “You Are the Generation That Bought More Shoes and You Get What You Deserve,” “Johnny Boy Theme,” “All Exits Final”

-Nick James

JamesN65@gmail.com

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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