Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Johnny LIMA: ”My Revolution”

Rating: RRRRR
Label: Johnny Lima 2014
Review by Kimmo Toivonen

"My Revolution" has been long process for Johnny Lima. It's his fifth album and he put it together without a record label, using IndieGoGo platform to collect funding from the fans for the final touches. Now the album is ready, and those of us who funded it have been living with the songs for a few weeks. I guess most of us have come to the same conclusion - this is a career highlight for Johnny and one of the best albums of the last few years. Yes, it's that good!

Johnny has taken his time with the album and you can hear it. The production is excellent, balanced and rich in details, but without great songs that wouldn't really matter, would it? Well I'm happy to report that "My Revolution" is full of great songs, ranging from sleazy hard rock to melodic pop/rock. The old catchphrase of "something for everyone" applies to this album to a degree, but it doesn't mean that it sounds like a mixed bag of this and that.

At the time of writing, there are still copies of the "limited edition CD" available on Johnny's site, and I strongly suggest you try to get your hands on that. The official release will only contain 11 songs instead of all the 15 tracks on the ltd. ed. CD. I am not completely sure which four tracks will be omitted, but as they're all good, you're going to miss some gems anyway.

The highlights among the 15 tracks are almost too many to mention, but I'll give it a shot anyway. The "revolution" starts with two superb hard rock tracks, the bombastic title track and the uptempo "Happily Ever After You", both armed with lethal hooks and a bad attitude. "Fill You Up" is the next highlight, lyrically as subtle as Kiss at their worst or Steel Panther, but that Crazy Frog-like keyboard hook is infectious. If the lyrics weren't as sleazy as they are, this could be Johnny's ticket to crossover success - for example, my six-year old daughter keeps singing along to the "ah-eh-oh-o-oh" hook everytime we listen to this in the car. And no, she doesn't understand english yet... the song isn't really suitable for english-speaking children! "Blame It On Love" is one of the more AOR-type of songs, slightly reminding me of Bon Jovi's "In These Arms" when it comes to the overall vibe. I already liked it when it was previewed at Firefest (2012), and the studio version doesn't disappoint. "Tell Me Lies" is a powerful rocker in the vein of Gotthard's "Anytime Anywhere" with great keyboard work, while "Nowhere Left To Go" is a track resurrected from the previous album's sessions. I always wondered why it didn't make the cut back then, I guess so did Johnny, as it is featured here. A superb track á la early Bon Jovi.

If I have understood correctly, the awesome pop-rocker "Deeper Into You" is in danger of being left off the normal version, as is the haunting piano ballad "Maybe You're Right, Maybe It's Wrong" and the hyper-melodic "Naturally Beautiful". My three easy choices to drop would have been "Dirty Girls", "Show Them Who You Are" and "Into The Light", all decent tracks but not quite in the same league as the others. The fourth one would be really hard to choose, thankfully I don't have to! So again, get the ltd. edition!

For fans of Johnny's previous albums, this is obviously an essential purchase, but basically everyone interested in the kind of music we cover should give it a go. Highly recommended.


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