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Greg Johnson - Album Review: Swing The Lantern

03 Nov 2015 // A review by camy3rs

Greg Johnson is not an artist to be trifled with, the prolific songwriter has a back catalogue of over 300 songs and with the release of Swing the Lantern – his 11th studio album, he proves once again why he is regarded as one of New Zealand’s most transcending, consistent and beloved musicians.

Swing the Lantern is Johnson’s own exercise in returning to more traditional recording methods, bringing in a few friends and some long-time cohorts to form a collaborative studio band, rather than hiring various available musicians to record in different studios . The effort has proved exceedingly worthwhile, the comprehensive sound of the album is extremely cohesive and slick.

Low Tide is the opening track, some raucous guitar over a steady, driving beat. The song ebbs and flows, as the tide sung of and transitions fluidly into the next piece. No Need for Invitations has a decidedly more relaxed feel and decrees that “an empty space, is the perfect place, for a party”.

There is no real overriding lyrical concept, each song is a standalone story, though there is a vague run-on of oceanic themed references that make the album feel decidedly mellow and beachy.

Why Won’t Love Give In? is a step up in tempo with a driving, thumping beat and some brilliant overlayed piano, it’s also my favourite piece from the collection. Further in, How the Sphinx Lost His Nose feels a little bit lost lyrically, but maintains the momentum towards the end of the record.

Overall, the album is a solid addition to a beloved body of work.

 

About Greg Johnson

With 13 albums and numerous Tui awards under his belt, this winner of the coveted Silver Scroll songwriter's award has repeatedly embedded his songs into the hearts of New Zealanders. Greg Johnson is a first class composer, wordsmith and entertainer.

Johnson first discovered his zeal for music while growing up in Auckland, on an eccentric blend of punk rock, Simon and Garfunkel and classical music. With a passion for performance and music in his heart, Johnson joined the late night band Bluespeak, singing and playing the trumpet for a living. It was here that Johnson further developed his distinctive and personable on-stage style. However, as pop music is his first love, he soon began to write and record pop songs under his own name. Vine Street Stories was his first breakthrough featuring 4 top 20 singles. The next two solo albums Chinese Whispers and Sea Breeze Motel introduced numerous pop gems including the classic hit Liberty, which garnered the distinguished Australasian Performing Rights Association Silver Scroll award in 1997.

Relocating to Los Angeles in 2002 proved lucrative creatively as Johnson joined forces with renowned record producer Clark Stiles (Dandy Warhols, Phunk Junkees) to complete Here Comes The Caviar, an album that has reached platinum.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Greg Johnson

Releases

Swing The Lantern
Year: 2015
Type: Album
Some Other Place, Some Other Time
Year: 2014
Type: Album
Secret Weapon
Year: 2010
Type: Album
Buy Online @ Mightyape
Greatest Hits
Year: 2009
Type: Album
Seven Day Cure
Year: 2008
Type: Album
Anyone Can Say Goodbye
Year: 2006
Type: Album
Here Comes The Caviar
Year: 2004
Type: Album
The Best Yet
Year: 2001
Type: Album
Seabreeze Motel
Year: 2000
Type: Album
Chinese Whispers
Year: 1997
Type: Album
Watertable
Year: 1993
Type: Album
Vine Street Stories
Year: 1993
Type: Album
Everyday Distortions
Year: 1992
Type: Album

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