Skip to content

This Perfect World – Freedy Johnston

This Perfect World Freedy Johnston

This Perfect World

(1994), 8/10
This Perfect World was Johnston’s most successful album; his major label debut, and its opening single ‘Bad Reputation’ was a minor hit. It’s the most conventionally singer-songwriter album in his discography; it’s comparatively acoustic, and lacks the rawness of his earlier work and the poppy sheen of his later albums. Tom Waits sideman Marc Ribot adds his distinctive guitar lines to some of the tracks, while cello adds a mournful undertone to the title track and ‘Evie’s Garden’. Of all people, Butch Vig produces, but the end results sound nothing like Garbage. Johnston’s song writing is more developed and his character sketches more convincing, but This Perfect World lacks the visceral impact and charm of Can You Fly, and is a little too understated and mono-textural for its own good.

That’s not to say that some of these songs aren’t catchy; ‘Dolores’ bounces along on an infectious acoustic riff, ‘Can’t Sink This Town’ adds punchy guitars to its memorable chorus, while ‘Bad Reputation’ is hooky and flows effortlessly without demarcated verses and choruses. But the tone of This Perfect World is much more informed by the pensive subjects that dominate the track-listing; the title track gives a voice to a prisoner on death row (“But I still deserve to say goodbye/No matter what I’ve done”), and while the music of ‘Two Lovers Stop’ is deceptively upbeat as the lyrics outline a suicide pact. The pair of ‘Evie’s Tears’ and ‘Evie’s Garden’ are both downers, while ‘Cold Again’ and ‘Gone Like The Water’ also deal with loss and grief.

This Perfect World probably falls into the category of an album I respect a lot, rather than an album I love; it has such a dark undertow that it’s not always that fun to listen to, but it’s admirably well-crafted.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Beatopolis

The music we loved

~ dreams to remember ~

Willie Gordon Suting | poet | writer | freelancer | bibliophile | vintage watches collector | blues and vocal jazz fan | country-jazz crooner | Shillong,Meghalaya,Northeast India

The English Pedant

For lovers of English as only they know it.

UGLY 'N' WEIRD

A guide to awfully entertaining music

ThisRamenIsMyGirl

Music blog and reviewing new stuff!

The Top 50 Albums Project

John Hirsekorn's Top 50 Albums of All Time

winding road

Humour, insight - whatever takes my fancy

Pierce's Press

| Music reviews and more....

fourty_fives

delving into stories Behind Records New and Old

%d bloggers like this: