Trent Reznor may be known as ‘the man who makes busy people look lazy’, yet even Mr Nine Inch Nail might struggle to keep up with Andrew Johnson. Having already released two albums in 2018 (his 14th solo album “Imaginary perfect” and Cherry Head, Cherry Heart’s pop-perfect “Tarred and feathered”) Johnson returns with a new EP to further demonstrate his creative drive.
Kicking off the EP with a ‘correct’ version of the title song (a “wrong” version was included on the ‘Imaginary perfect’ record) we’re off with an upbeat, good time, pop-meets-rock sound. Familiar with early- era ‘Cast’, it’s a strong pop tune underpinned by a lyric about being in love with someone wild and erratic.
‘Wrong side of you’ maintains the EP’s mid 90’s Britpop feel; bouncing along with a sound that combines the joyous style of ‘Space’ with a McCartney inspired, popping, baseline.
Demonstrating his ability to write in a variety of styles, Johnson uses the final two tracks of the EP to push his sound and experiment. ‘King of a broken scene’ is fascinating with it’s use of psychedelic guitars, wistful lyrics and low in the mix vocals in a style reminiscent of the Stone Roses/ Butterfly-house era Coral.
Final track ‘Lonely no good’ saves the best, and simplest, tune to the end using just a piano, a solo vocal line and a unique narrative. Similar in feel to the Beautiful Souths ‘Song for whoever’, you get the sense of a writer explaining some of their key defining moments in a structure which provides the right blend of silence and space needed when drawing attention to the lyrics.
‘Wildest Wind’ continues Johnson’s recent work of challenging the pop worlds belief that everything is always great.
Picasso once defended hard work, arguing that ‘Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working’. Mr Johnson carries on working, carries on being inspired and continues to inspire those who chose to listen.