Jonny Craig - A Dream Is a Question You Don't Know How to Answer
Record Label: Rise
Release Date: August 18, 2009
While often looked down upon in our scene for being a "dick" or "douche bag," there is no doubt that Jonny Craig, front man for Emarosa and previously Dance Gavin Dance, has an incredible voice. With a ridiculously wide vocal range, compared at times to the late Michael Jackson, there is no doubt that he is a very capable singer, which he has already proven in previous endeavors. He continues to show off his talent in his solo outing, titled A Dream Is a Question You Don't Know How to Answer.
I admit that at first, I was slightly skeptical on how this album was going to turn out. It didn't help that it was packaged with a sticker saying that it was "for fans of Minus the Bear and Usher". Each on their own are pretty good, but the idea of some sort of weird R&B/ Indie rock mash up was slightly off-putting and made me a little nervous. Also, reading the track titles prior to listening also made me question myself for reviewing this. Thankfully however, this album isn't like either group, and the titles have little bearing on the outcome of the songs.
The album opens with Craig proclaiming with a brief intro, serving almost as introduction for him to show his vocal talent. It quickly moves into the first single, "Istillfeelher Part III," which continues from the first "I Still Feel Her," that Craig created with his main band, Emarosa. Seemingly telling the tale of a relationship that didn't end well, Jonny does a great job putting emotion into the lyrics he is singing. This leads into arguably the strongest track on the album, "What I Would Give To Be Australian". With a great job done by the band backing Craig, he showcases his talent. However, that is not to say the album is without flaws.
As good as some of the songs are, there are a couple tracks that just do not seem like they should be on this album. Tracks such as "I've Been Hearing That You're Freaky" and especially "7 AM, 2 Bottles and the Wrong Road" are very weak, and take away from the rest of the album, which otherwise is fairly well structured. So while the world will continue to hate Jonny Craig because of his attitude, his opinions, and whatever else it is that makes everyone hate him; you can't take away from the fact that he has a pretty incredible voice, which he showcases (mostly) well in his solo album A Dream Is a Question You Don't Know How to Answer.
I was definitely very surprised with this album. It was not the post hardcorish joint i thought it would be. At first i didnt like it but after numerous listens it really grew on me and it is one of my favourite LPs currently.
I agree with your score....craig has a great voice but i still feel like there is untapped potential for him as a musician and i hope he really discovers it in up coming releases.
That album is so sick, not feeling that review at all. JC straight pulled out all the stops for a stellar debut featuring some top notch nu-jazz/slow groove jams. Can't wait for the next album in 2010!
And yes the 2 songs pointed out as the worst are nowhere being weak... the only thing sucky are the interludes but all the songs especially Children of Divorce, kills!