CD Review: John Fannon's Saved All The Pieces
Walking Wild Records - 2013
Singer, songwriter, guitarist, engineer and studio owner John Fannon is a longtime favorite among Boston-area rock fans in-the-know, as he returns to the music scene with the release of his debut solo CD titled Saved All The Pieces. At one time, Fannon was a late-70’s rising star as front-man for the rock band New England, with their self-titled debut release (produced by Paul Stanley of Kiss) and Top 40 hit “Don’t Ever Wanna Lose Ya” riding up the charts in 1978.
CD cover photo courtesy of John Fannon. Stage photo by Joe Milliken
Now, over 30 years later and having owned his own Boston recording studio for decades, John is thrilling many die-hard New England fans out there (including yours truly) with the release of this 11-song collection that is all John - written, performed, produced and engineered in his studio, The Explorer Suite.
Saved All The Pieces goes down a slightly different path than the more rocking, power-pop sounds of New England, as John’s solo songs tend to explore his earliest influence – mainly The Beatles. (And dare I suggest a sound reminiscent of Robyn Hitchcock?) Not necessarily lyrically speaking, but more through sheer atmosphere and melody.
Having the good fortune of recently seeing John perform on two occasions before the CD’s release, I can tell you from the live experience that John’s new songs not only explore these past influences, but also offer up his own unique, songwriting style and musical sensibilities.
The opening two tracks “Just You And Me” and “Just Run,” plus “Go To The Sun” might be the best examples of the Beatle-esque aura that weaves throughout these catchy, wistful song structures which seem to each, subconsciously build up to a blissful peaks.
What’s more, both John’s acoustic strums and guitar solos are smooth, tasteful and perfectly placed… most notable for this writer, the fantastic solos during “Running Easy,” the aforementioned “Just Run” (co-written with New England band mate Jimmy Waldo) and the closing “So Here I Am.”
Other tracks such as “Hearts Are Breaking,” ‘Go On Your Way,” “Give Me Love” and the wonderful title track are acoustic and sweet, laced with tasteful piano lines, rich vocals, atmospheric guitar solos and heart-felt lyrics that bring It all together.
However, even with the previously mentioned influences clearly present, Saved All The Pieces does not come off as pretentious or trite, but rather, it just sounds like John Fannon. Almost like he’s just simply telling us; this is how I feel, this is what I’ve written and recorded… and I hope you enjoy it.
And from the aforementioned shows this reviewer attended, it was easy to see from the reaction that John’s fans had waited a long time to hear all these great songs that had piled up in his head over the years... and it was all definitely worth the wait! To learn more about John fanon or to order his new CD, visit www.johnfannon.com.