Saturday, March 22, 2008

John Collins (Can) - Here

Hear The Track Here

Over the last couple of years, the usual ruffians infesting Soundclick have had their rough edges smoothed off by the artists known as John Collins and Lucie Dubue. I use the metaphor in the most precise manner because John (he is the songwriter and musician of the team) and he has been known to out-smooth Smoothy King Mike-K. I even have the vaguest memory somewhere of reviewing a show tune from this quarter and believe me, that's not so shocking as it might sound. Sure I guess it might seem shocking that a hard bitten - grizzled even - reviewer like your 'umble scribe, might actually LIKE such material but I definitely did in this artists case.

The Can in the name indicates that John is a Canadian, or at least I presume so. 'Here's some words for you', John says as he peppers our ears (and eyes) with a flood of verbiage. One of the strengths of the duo's music has been John's extremely professional approach to songwriting - albeit in genres I wouldn't normally be seen dead wearing. Eh? Err. I've often compared contemporary artists to Cat Steven's but John Collins does an incredible job of sounding just like an early version of Yusuf. A little more eccentric sure, especially some of the more histronic sections, but a dead ringer in sound and style.

It also shows that John Collins is first and foremost a songwriter; there are some things on this track that I would never have passed, particularly where the vocals strain so obviously. Nonetheless, as I say, it does get the job done and get the style and tone of the song across which is all I suspect John is after at this stage. The real problem is that IMHO it isn't that good a song - at least not in its present format. You can hear that the track should be building towards that 3rd verse but somehow it just doesn't, leaving you with a very flat impression. No highs or lows.I would be quite prepared to put a lot of these comments down to me not liking the style but something is not right with this track. As a demo song, sure it's worth a listen and I've always got time for John the songwriter but I'll wait for something more fitting.

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