My essay on Alanis Morissette’s sixth LP, So-Called Chaos (2004), is up for reading now at Blogcritics, where it was first published. Celebrating its 10th birthday this month, this misunderstood album is given a second glance. Make sure to check it out!
Monthly Archives: May 2014
My essay on Kim Wilde’s fourth long player, Teases & Dares (1984), is up for reading now at Blogcritics, where it was first published. Celebrating Wilde’s MCA Records debut, which had her further court synth-pop and dance music, I peer into one of her most beloved recordings. Make sure to check it out!
My essay on Donna Summer’s debut LP Lady of the Night (1974) is up for reading now at Blogcritics, where it was first published. Celebrating Donna Summer’s 40th year anniversary in popular music, I peer into this obscured gem of a recording and its impact on Summer’s recording legacy. Make sure to check it out!
Recording partnerships with romantic chemistry are strewn throughout popular music―and it seems the tradition is set to continue with JOHNNYSWIM.
After working the indie circuit for several years, the Nashville based duo have unleashed Diamonds, their first full-length LP. The record tracks the trails of the heartbroken and star crossed, highlighting the pedigrees of Abner Ramirez and Amanda Sudano. Ramirez, a songwriting teacher, courted Sudano, the daughter of Bruce Sudano (of Brooklyn Dreams) and Donna Summer, in a class he taught.
The creative and beyond platonic sparks birthed a union that has allowed them to chart their journey, as well as that of others, in life and love.
Excusing the overpolished title track, the mass of Diamonds spins on the axis of folk and rootsy rhythm and blues. An excellent example is “You and I”; Sudano and Ramirez take to the sky, eyes high, on the track’s melodic middle-eight.
The sweetfaced “Paris in June” is more of a whisper to the aural scream of “Pay Dearly” though. The latter cut platforms that while both Ramirez and Sudano are impressive united, they can handle songs alone. Ramirez’s performance on “Pay Dearly” is full of regret and spite; it’s clear that the narrative may not be what he’s living with his wife, but he sells it. Sudano herself commands the tumult of “Trouble” in way that is disarmingly sexy and wounded.
JOHNNYSWIM perform “Home” on ‘Late Night w/ David Letterman,’ 2014
As stated however, JOHNNYSWIM’s own courtship is apparent on Diamonds too; the blush of their excitement in each other can be heard in “Live While We’re Young” and “Take the World”. JOHNNYSWIM’s words and music capture the tricky transition of young adults stepping into the world beautifully. Diamonds is an ideal sound palette for the bruised and bright-eyed listeners who come across this promising pair. Ranking: Classic