12 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Any danger of a sophomore slump for contemporary singer/songwriter Jon McLaughlin is killed by the contagiously catchy chorus of the opening electro-pop tinged "Beating My Heart." The huge and pristine production by John Fields (Jonas Brothers, Switchfoot, Lifehouse) lets the song set the stage for a filler-free affair overflowing with uplifting and emotional epics that are sure to show up on various movie soundtracks even years after the album's release. For instance, the airtight Electric Light Orchestra inspired harmonies and sugar coated hooks on "You Can Never Go Back" beg for a remake of Xanadu. And the guitar heavy "Dance Your Life Away" could have been written by Kenny Loggins in the 1980s to accompany lighthearted films that touch on golfing, naval aviation, and/or small Midwestern towns where teenage dancing is outlawed. The tune is a not so much a throwback as it is a deliberate guilty pleasure, but McLaughlin obviously knows this and camps it up for fun. Even slower jams like the doo-wop influenced "We All Need Saving" are infectious enough to make you wonder what he's going to do next.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Any danger of a sophomore slump for contemporary singer/songwriter Jon McLaughlin is killed by the contagiously catchy chorus of the opening electro-pop tinged "Beating My Heart." The huge and pristine production by John Fields (Jonas Brothers, Switchfoot, Lifehouse) lets the song set the stage for a filler-free affair overflowing with uplifting and emotional epics that are sure to show up on various movie soundtracks even years after the album's release. For instance, the airtight Electric Light Orchestra inspired harmonies and sugar coated hooks on "You Can Never Go Back" beg for a remake of Xanadu. And the guitar heavy "Dance Your Life Away" could have been written by Kenny Loggins in the 1980s to accompany lighthearted films that touch on golfing, naval aviation, and/or small Midwestern towns where teenage dancing is outlawed. The tune is a not so much a throwback as it is a deliberate guilty pleasure, but McLaughlin obviously knows this and camps it up for fun. Even slower jams like the doo-wop influenced "We All Need Saving" are infectious enough to make you wonder what he's going to do next.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
289 Ratings
289 Ratings
bebedebroadway ,

Disappointed

I bought Jon's first album as soon as it dropped on iTunes, and as someone who saw him live in Indiana before moving away, I LOVED his first album. But I have to say that I'm a little disappointed with this new one. Much of it is too synthesized and over poppy. It's lost a lot of the soul of his first work. I do, however, enjoy "Why I'm Talking to You" and "Throw My Love Around," but I really miss the soulful piano work he had on his first album. A lot of this is great, but sounds like other artists. I liked Jon for his instrumental musicianship and it's missing here.

The Best Music Reviews ,

More of the Same...

...Isn't always a bad thing. Especially in this case. The album is catchy with much of the same sound as Indiana, although it is evident that he has evolved in his playing over the past few years. Although there are only 12 tracks, at $8.99 it's a steal and I have a feeling that the price will be raised in the near future.

Purchase.

Now.

They say great things come in threes.... so this album, Ben Folds' Way to Normal, and James Morrison's Songs for You, Truths for Me are the three albums of the fall.

I recommend them all. The only problem is finding time for all of them.

lpoolgirl23 ,

Why isn't he bigger?

Jon McLaughlin is one of the most talented musicians out there today. I've seen him live (twice!) and he performed "Rocket Man" better than Elton himself. This album shows so much growth between him when he wrote and recorded Indiana and today. "That's Why I'm Talking to You" is the second best song he has done, with its jazz melody and phenomenal piano. His best song- "Things That You Say." If that song does not make you shiver, or cry, or have some sort of emotional reaction, then you have no soul. I am so glad that this is finally out, and by someone talented. It is so refreshing to see a young artist who doesn't need booty shorts and a high-profile spouse to sell records. He simply has it.

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