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Johnnie Burton Review

by Rob Nipe

Johnnie Burton is all about rock. She is trying to assume the mantle left by our fallen angel of rock, Courtney Love. And she gets close. The problem is that she seems to be trying too hard. In the first song "Hello Lover", Johnnie sings about the attraction/repulsion that she feels toward her lover. When she starts singing, you can hear her make a snarl. While some people may hear that and think 'Wow, what a cool rocker!', it came across to me like someone who is playing a part. I hardly think that Burton will ever live up to the Love escapades but she seems like someone who would. The F bomb even gets dropped but in that I-know-this-is-a-dirty-word-but-I'm-saying-it-anyway-and-I'm-not-apologizing type of way that a teenager would do in a school talent show. Not exactly rock star status.

That said, the songs are hella catchy. The drummer/ producer on the album is Ralf Balzar who played with the band, The Flys (remember that video where all the kids are running as fast as they can and throwing themselves off the cliff? It was tied in with a movie Disturbing Behavior? Doesn't really matter anyway). Apparently, he is the one who also put together Burton's band. Listening to the heavier songs on the album like "Hello Lover", "Red Rubber Ball", and "Volcano", I felt like I was listening to a new Flys' record but with a female singer. I don't think it is exactly a bad thing, just something that I have heard before.

About midway through the album, Burton seems to lose steam. She stops trying to be a rocker and starts to sound more like a popper. A little more like Avril and a lot less like Joan Jett if you get my drift. "Ordinary Day" can't seem to get its claws out to do any real damage. Maybe it is because Burton is singing about an ordinary day. I'd like to suggest writing a song about the most rocking out day to keep up the energy. While this song and others like "These Days" and "What Heaven's Like" aren't quite up to rocking snuff, they are also very listenable and enjoyable. I just wonder why there isn't a whole album of the rock or the pop. I think there is an audience for both. I just don't know if either will find enough for them on this album.

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