Saturday, October 17, 2009

Review: Five For Fighting "Slice"

I've been a casual fan of Five For Fighting (a.k.a. singer/songwriter John Ondrasik) from the get-go, but with each new release I become a little more fanatical about how great these CDs are (and more frustrated with how Five For Fighting seems to receive less attention with each new record). The fifth album, "Slice", contains some of the strongest material Ondrasik has written and performed to date.

"Slice" is exceptionally Billy Joel-inspired and is consistently amazing through the first seven tracks. Ondrasik is the new piano man - and this time around, his brand of piano-driven pop rock is lushly orchestrated and sonically awesome. Better still, the eleven songs are built on his usual thought-provoking lyrics. If he's not telling a poignant story, he's compelling you to ponder the bittersweet complexities of life of human relations.

There are too many ace tracks to highlight them all - suffice it to say that nearly every track is melodic and beautiful, with subtle hints of genius that should make the hairs on your neck stand up. "Chances" (the current single) and "Story of Your Life" (should be a single) are upbeat, catchy, and a friend to radio. "Tuesday" and "This Dance" are a couple of the standout ballads. "Note to the Unknown Soldier" is one of the greatest tributes I've ever heard. Finally, lead-off and title track, "Slice", can be taken as a sequel to Don McLean's "American Pie", with Five For Fighting proving that today is the day music has been reborn. Get this one, gang - it is a terrific record, no matter how you slice it.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9

Five For Fighting on MySpace. Official site.

1 comment:

Rick Votour said...

Bill, you have nailed this review and you so summed up my thoughts, how this guy John has not become a superstar is interesting. I suspect he has found a balance between life and fame, good for him. I say, buy the album folks, skip on the internet downloads, listen to it the way he wants you to experience it, from track one to the very end.