Review of John Mckeown's album Things Worth Fighting For
Former Hero front man John Mckeown has chosen to embark on a solo career following the split of his band in 2008. He returns in the form of Things Worth Fighting For, an album that has to be the most polite listen of 2009. This is an album that glides along blissfully recounting tales of lost love, mostly accompanied by the trusty acoustic guitar.
Opener Will You Be Mine, finds Mckeown in familiar territory, with piano and guitar lusting for a love that's not yet his. It's pleasant enough but does very little to excite. It's not until the albums halfway point that it starts to get going. At this stage when Mckeowns simplistic formula finally starts to come to the boil with the charming Candy Girl. Drum loops are met with far more purposeful piano chords to create one of the albums undoubted highpoints.
The good form continues and even provides a much needed surprise when the album's title track knocks on the door. With African style chanting and hand drums, Mckeowns sound takes a new twist. Fused with his own impressive guitar work it blends perfectly and gives the album a whole new dimension to come to terms with.
We soon find ourselves back in the territory of Up Where You Belong in which a well advised brass section springs from nowhere. It's a track that's helped by a Beach Boys sounding bass line as well as some intricate finger picking.
Things Worth Fighting For is ultimately an album that comes to life half way through, but once it's been ignited continues to grow. Safe tracks such as Will You Be Mine and Touch, only detract from an album that contains interesting, well written, genre spanning songs such as Bleed and Candy Girl. Things Worth Fighting For is an album that sees John Mckeown confidently introduce himself as a solo artist. And for some it will certainly be worth the wait.
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