“Hold Back My Heart”
1. Heart on My Sleeve
2. To Love Somebody
3. Feeling Alright
4. Little Bear
5. Fool’s Gold
8. Hold Back My Heart
9. This is Goodbye
10. It’s Too Late
11. Heart is Weak
12. Turn to You
Back in December, Amanda Overmyer released “Solidify,” delivering a wonderful reminder that we’d better not judge an Idol’s music by where the contestant finished on the show.
Michael Johns reinforced the point this week with the release of “Hold Back My Heart.”
It’s an album that comes across as a sophisticated, self-assured effort from a singing-songwriting veteran (which Michael sorta is at age 30), rather than a first post-Idol album from a contestant who finished eighth on the show.
Should we be surprised?
Not really. “Don’t Look Down,” the little-known soundtrack to a Shaun White snowboarding documentary (here’s the link for a free listen), provided a hint that “Hold Back My Heart” might be something special.
My favorite tracks on the album are “Fire,” “It’s Too Late” and “Turn to You,” which Michael co-wrote.
But you’re not going to find a throw-away track on the CD. You know, the track you skip on repeated listenings because you’re really not fond of it.
A solid cover of the Bee Gees’ hit “To Love Somebody” helps ease us into the album in the number two hole, and Michael takes over from there, sharing writing credits on six of the other 11 tracks.
In an interview with an Australian radio station earlier this year, Michael said he was aiming for a rock-soul sound on the album, sorta “like Joe Cocker meets Otis Redding.” And in a press release announcing the album, he was quoted as saying: “Idol allowed me to introduce myself to the world, and I plan on making the most of that opportunity.”
Mission accomplished, on both fronts.
AllMusic.com: Gives Michael 3.5 stars out of 5.
Michael’s MySpace Page
Reviews of other new Idol releases and some older releases:
Click on the “new Idol music” category to the right, or go here. Keep checking back. More reviews are added weekly.
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