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Trouble Is Real

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Album Review

Trouble Is Real by Johnathan Rice finds a romantic with a sultry baritone. He's boyishly charming with vibrant enthusiasm, but he's not just another singer/songwriter with an acoustic guitar, hungry to make a great first impression. This twentysomething is eager for a cinematic path to guide him through life's constant complexities. His vocal delivery is unforgettable, and vocalists such as Peter Gabriel, Nick Drake, and Ed Harcourt come to mind. Ignore the fact that all six of the songs found on 2004's Extended Player 24:26 EP are featured here. Listening to such EP standouts as "Mid November" and "My Mother's Son" once more won't hurt, thus making Trouble Is Real even heavier in sound and story. "Lady Memphis" is an old-timey foot-stomper with its sepia-toned array of organs and acoustic guitars. Other acoustic-driven tracks such as "Behind the Frontlines," "City on Fire," and "I Wouldn't Miss It for the World" showcase Rice's honest approach to songwriting, and it's quite enjoyable. Even more striking are the moments where he lets himself be a musician and a singer. "So Sweet" and "Salvation Day" thunder with so much feeling, the listener should want to grab for it. Trouble Is Real is a remarkable debut record, and those who fell for Pete Yorn's Musicforthemorningafter and adored the candidness found on Badly Drawn Boy's About a Boy won't be able to contain themselves.

Customer Reviews

a must for true music lovers

Johnathan Rice is refreshingly unique. His husky voice and intricate instrumental skills make this album a diamond in the rough of wanna-be folk/alternative musicians. I believe this album is the best of its genre to come along and haven't stopped listening to it since I bought it early last year. I fell in love immediatley with the opening bars of "Short Song for Strings" which morphs into "Mid November" and continues to build as an ornate, gossamer web of delightful music throughout the entire album. Highlights on the album include "Leave the Light On," "So Sweet," and "The Acrobat." The album is meant to be listened to all the way through, as Rice intended. And it is really the ultimate music experience. Any fan of Nick Drake or Pete Yorn should give Rice a well-deserved listen. I promise you will not be disapointed.

I'm addicted

This CD is so good! The songs get stuck in my head and I liked almost every song instantly when it usually takes me a few times listening. I was only listening to a few people for a while, Ryan Adams, Jesse Malin, Rhett Miller and I really wanted a little something new. Johnathan Rice is great, his voice is awesome. I don't remember the last time I was so instantly satisfyed with a CD.

Ever so sweet.....

This is truly an amazing album. Johnathan Rice has an amazing raspy folk voice; think Bob Dylan meets Johnny Cash. The lyrics are truly something to ponder over, they take you for a loop and cary your heart along for the ride. Trouble is Real is a must have addition for any indie collector!


Born: May 27, 1983 in Alexandria, VA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

When he was 16, singer/songwriter Johnathan Rice opened his mouth and let out a weathered, rustic sound that caught him by surprise. Like many teenagers obsessed with music, Rice just wanted to see what his voice sounded like when imitating his heroes, who included the likes of Joni Mitchell, the Band, Neil Young, and Bob Dylan. As consequence would have it, Rice decided to make his songwriting hobby a serious affair and returned to his native Virginia, having spent most of his life growing up in...
Full Bio
Trouble Is Real, Johnathan Rice
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Customer Ratings