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Forever Hasn't Happened Yet

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Album Review

Since John Doe left active duty with X, he's released a series of solo albums that, in a variety of different ways, have drawn many listeners to the same conclusion — he's still a superb singer and a strong songwriter, but there's just something missing from his work on his own, which lacks the force and resonance of his music with X. It isn't necessarily tied to the fact that he doesn't rock as hard, given how powerful his work was with X's acoustic side project, the Knitters, and it shouldn't be a matter of not having good collaborators, as Doe's 2005 solo set, Forever Hasn't Happened Yet, boasts an impressive set of talented guests. Longtime colleague Dave Alvin adds guitar and vocals to three cuts, Neko Case contributes a strong and sexy backing vocal on "Hwy. 5" (co-written with Exene Cervenka, and not coincidentally the most X-like song on board), Grant Lee Phillips lends splendid harmonies to "Twin Brother," the criminally underappreciated Cindy Lee Berryhill shines on two songs, and Kristin Hersh sounds like a force of nature on "Ready." Doe himself sings beautifully throughout, and there are a few top-shelf songs here, especially the evocative "Twin Brother," the graceful "Your Parade," and the bitter charge through "Ready." But ultimately, too much of Forever Hasn't Happened Yet is made up of songs that don't quite hit their target, either musically or emotionally; it's full of fine moments, but doesn't cohere into a solid whole, though most of it is good enough to keep hope alive that Doe will bat 1.000 next time he heads into the studio.

Customer Reviews

Best Solo Yet

I have heard all the solo John Doe, but none has been as satisfying as this. The review is correct: we all like Doe, but the previous solo efforts have not been that solid. This is a great album that I keep playing. Also check out the new Knitters if you are a John Doe/Knitters/X fan like me.

My Hero!

Play Hwy 5 and Twin Brother a few times and you will realize what John's all about. Dim Stars, Bright Sky was 2003's best album and I have never quite gotten over "Far Away", "7 Holes" and my all time favorite X/JD tune "Forever for You." Too bad iTunes doesn't hold Dim Stars but "Forever Hasn't Happened Yet" is a great start! Thanks John for 20 Years of unbelievable memories!

Forever is Now

Forever Hasn't Happened Yet, the new John Doe solo album, is one of the finest albums I have heard this decade. Although I enjoyed X years ago, I frankly hadn't paid *any* attention to Doe's solo efforts until I stumbled across this album on the Net a few weeks ago. I am completely mesmerized by the superb songwriting and the brilliant vocal performances by Doe & his family & friends on this album. I am eager to see him in concert in San Francisco. The first song, The Losing Kind, is a mindblower of spareness and power - the kind of troubadour song you see Springsteen reach for but rarely achieve. And then when you hear Twin Brother, There's a Black Horse and Ready, you realize Doe is an underrecognized genius. He deserves his due. Check it out and tell your friends.


Born: 1954 in Decatur, IL

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

As one of the founding members of the Los Angeles punk band X, John Doe was one of the most influential figures in American alternative rock during the early '80s, but when he launched a solo career in the early '90s, he decided to pursue a rootsy, country-rock direction instead of continuing with punk. X's latter-day albums exhibited a rockabilly and country influence, but it wasn't until Doe's 1990 debut, Meet John Doe, that he recorded a pure country album. Meet John Doe was recorded during a...
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