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iTunes Review

Five for Fighting’s lone official member, John Ondrasik, crafts easy-listening adult contemporary pop that rarely disappoints in bringing smooth, ambitious melodies to sincere and well-balanced lyrics. It’s exactly these strengths that can turn into liabilities over the long haul, but Ondrasik and producer Gregg Wattenberg kick up the energy for 2013’s Bookmarks. Songs like “What If,” “Down,” “Road to You," and “She’s My Girl” all sound as if energy drinks were supplied to the backing musicians before the sessions. Not that Ondrasik doesn’t settle into a sweet piano-and-strings track from time to time. “I Don’t Want Your Love” handles a melody as ambitious as anything from Elton John. “Symphony Lane” delivers on its title. “You’ll Never Change” settles in with piano arpeggios before a big chorus breaks through, meaning Ondrasik’s contemporary easy listening is more like modestly semi-hard soft rock.

Customer Reviews

This isn't Five for Fighting...

The music isn't bad…but it's not the same quality of heart that I feel FFF use to have. I wish I wasn't saying it, but I feel this band has taken the same turn Train and Maroon 5 have taken to be more modern, but it's affected the soul of the music. Maybe it's just my opinion, but I thought a lot of this album lacked heart aside from Symphony Lane.

Five For Fighting's Best Album

I have been a huge Five For Fighting fan for about ten years. Not only does John Ondrasik make great music, but he donates so much of his time to charitable causes and supporting the men and women of the military. As far as this album goes, I am not sure if there is one song that stands out as the "best" or my favorite, but I feel that the album as a whole is his best work to date. Here are my initial thoughts about each song:

Stand Up - Great pick-me-up song. It's not too satisfying lyrically, but I can definitely see this song in a movie or a commercial.

What If - Classic introspective Five For Fighting song about putting yourself in other shoes and taking chances

Heaven Knows - Beautiful lyrics… "Smile darling don't be sad/Stars are going to shine tonight"

Down - This reminds me of "Hope" from Slice… Perfect placement in the album since the first three songs are much heavier

I Don't Want Your Love - Beautiful

Road to You - One of my favorite songs on the album. Love the background vocals (very Killers-esque)

She's My Girl - I like the background music and overall feel of the song, but I'm not sure if I'm sold on the lyric "She's better than ice cream"

Symphony Lane - Darkest sounding song on the album. Love the violin

You'll Never Change - I can see this being the breakout song of the album. "Poppy" enough to be on the radio, but strong lyrically

Your Man - Inspiring. The song really highlights John's incredible vocal range.

The Day I Died - I don't think we'll hear this song on the radio, but the lyrics are great and the song closes the album beautifully.

Overall, the album is incredible. This is easily Five For Fighting's best album.


Overproduced modern sound. That's NOT what I'm looking for in a Five For Fighting album. Might appeal to much younger listeners, I guess, but is that really the FFF target market?


Formed: 1997 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Five for Fighting is the one-man band of John Ondrasik, who rose to fame in 2001 on the strength of the pop/rock ballad "Superman (It's Not Easy)." Although originally released in 2000, the single became popular after the events of September 11, 2001, which shone new light on Five for Fighting's tale of flight, insecurity, and heroics. Another Top 40 hit, "100 Years," followed three years later, thus cementing Five for Fighting's status as one of the decade's leading balladeers. Born and raised...
Full Bio
Bookmarks, Five for Fighting
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