Thursday, June 11, 2009

Michael Johns CD Review: The Return of Pure Soul

During my first listen to Michael Johns’ new CD, “Hold Back My Heart,” I actually stopped it about halfway through. Here we go again, I thought. Another “Idol” CD I’m going to have to say something bad about…

But apparently, I was just in an off mood that day, because Johns’ debut effort is actually quite good if you’re into old soul—and you guys know that I am.

The CD kicks off with his current single, “Heart On My Sleeve,” which all AC—and Top 40—stations should be playing right now. It’s that good. The slightly mournful chorus is gorgeous.

Johns throws in a good cover of “To Love Somebody,” but the CD is strongest when he does his own thing. It’s clear from listening to the CD that we never really heard the real Michael Johns on “American Idol,” so I’m glad we get to hear him now.

The CD is pure soul with catchy beats and strong horn arrangements. “Little Bear” is a real standout with its James Brown meets 70s Motown sound. In fact, I hear a lot of Motown in the CD, and I mean that as a huge compliment.

I’m not sure I would’ve predicted Johns making an R&B/soul CD, but I’m certainly glad he did. It’s the kind of music they just don’t make anymore.

Thank goodness Johns did…

“Hold Back My Heart” hits stores and online outlets Tuesday, June 23rd…

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