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Two Lights

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Album Review

Five for Fighting's John Ondrasik is a straight, clean, post-9/11 version of "Daniel"-era Elton John. He's got exquisite pipes, a knack for the big key changes, and a true star's sense of emotional entitlement that masks itself as introspection. If 2004's Battle for Everything saw a more assured and concise Five for Fighting reacting to its surprise success of 2001's "Superman" single, then 2006's Two Lights represents Ondrasik's complete transformation from somber troubadour into adult alternative mother-ship. With the now branded Five for Fighting, there is no hint of danger, no chance for controversy, and no way that at least half the record won't end up supplying brow-creasing melodramatic film moments and high school year-end slide shows with forced poignancy for years to come. It only takes a few minutes into the elegiac opening cut "Freedom Never Cries" to revisit the 9-11 angst/patriotism that won Ondrasik the majority of his initial public favor ("I only talk to God when somebody's about to die/I never cherished freedom/freedom never cries), a song he deftly follows with the super earnest and wistfully upbeat "World," and later "Riddle." From there it's a real hodgepodge, with detours into murderous Springsteen-esque road trips like "California Justice" and "65 Mustang." For the most part, Two Lights is a serious record about hard-working people in hard times — only the jaunty "Johnny America" and the dumb but infectious "Policeman's Xmas Party" echo early press comparisons to the more whimsical sides of Ben Folds and Billy Joel — but it's not saying anything that hasn't already been beaten into the masses since the confessional that used to house self-absorbed singer/songwriters became open to the public.

Customer Reviews

Awesome Album from an Awesome Band

As owner of all of Five for Fighting's albums, I have to say that this is their most solid release to date. 1)Freedom Never Cries: 6/10: A meaningful song, but it is missing something. 2) World: 9.5/10: Incredible song. Catchy melody, powerful message, seriously grooving. 3) California Justice: 8/10: A nice break from Ondrasik's usual piano ballads, this one isn't as thought provoking, but it is still catchy. 4) The Riddle: 9/10: A piano piece with striking similarity to Superman, 100 Years, and World 5) Two Lights: 8/10: A touching piano piece that packs an emotional wallop. 6) '65 Mustang: 7/10: A free-wheelin' song characteristic of the song's subject. 7) I Just Love You: 6/10: Ballad, and by this point, the ballads are getting boring. 8) Policeman's Xmas Party: 6/10: Is it catchy? Yes. Is it a nice break from piano ballads? Yes. Does it make sense on his album, in this setting? No 9) Road to Heaven: 7/10: A whimsical song about make-believe, this song fails to deliver, but it does have catchy parts. 10) Johnny America: 7/10: A solid song with a nice melody and inspiring message, but it's not the album's strongest song.


unlike most artist, five for fighting's songs have meanings.this album proves, especially world


I really like their music.My favorite song on this album is The Riddle


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
Two Lights, Five for Fighting
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