Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
There is no getting away with the fact that despite it being a sprawling metropolis, a virtual criss-crossed labyrinth of villages encircled by the M25 and bound together by a distinction of purpose rather than the natural order of unity, that the songs of London, from its people through to its incredible history, are always worth hearing, especially when they are in the voice of a musician to whom the streets are not paved with the commonplace or the predictable stare of someone who has immersed themselves too deeply in the capital’s attention, but instead one to whom sees and hears the delight of the unaccustomed and the precious.
London Songs, they are usually the first thing a visitor to these shores will remember, no matter how they got here, the tunes infiltrate their psyche, they take solace in the familiar refrains and find that the routine of expression, from cab drivers to the dock worker, to the shopper and the like minded once in a life time tourist, the song, if heard above the silence carried by the unfeeling and unsentimental, is one of exquisite pleasure.
Ady Johnson’s latest offering is one that takes apart the notion, at least to the ear of the listener, the notion of the difficult second album. It is hard to understand the severity of the drought that encompasses an artist when there is so much competition for the words and lyrics when the muse is as large as London, when the people themselves provide the inspiration.
Whilst Ady Johnson provides the listener with two remixed songs from the E.P. Thank You For The Good Things, the album itself is one that makes the most of the mystery of music and one like the city of choice in which Mr. Johnson has picked upon, is a symbol of a living, breathing, entity.
In tracks such as Put The World on Standby, the remix of The Glass Tower, The Black and Blue, the full band experience of Whale Song and the standout Bloodshot Eyes, Ady Johnson explores every avenue and street marker, he makes the capital come alive in a way that for many has been missed; like the map makers and the creators of the landmarks that dot the city, the wealth of the historic and sometimes the obscenity of grandeur, it is there to visualise and take note of; sometimes it takes a stranger to point out how good something is.
Ady Johnson releases London Songs on February 23rd.
Ian D. Hall