So if you came here by way of my regular blog, you read a little bit about why I love Five for Fighting so much. If you happened across this review from some other linky, you can take a quick trip here to catch up on my passion for John Ondrasik.
In the meantime, let's talk shop. One2One Network gave me the opportunity to download and listen to Five for Fighting's new CD entitled Slice this week. (Does that statement suffice as disclosure for the FCC? ) I have to say, having some beautiful music to listen to made it a much easier week. Anyone who is familiar with John Ondrasik's previous work knows his greatest talent lies in being able to convey such raw emotion in his music, through both his singing and his instrumentals. The playlist on Slice is consistent with his other work that way. I think the thing I found most interesting about this particular album is the subject matter. Since the press release said it better than I could, I will let you read it:
"If every album provides snapshots of where an artist’s mind at heart is at the moment, Slice, the latest offering from John Ondrasik (aka Five for Fighting), is a collection of digital jpegs and faded Polaroids. The album takes stories of friends, family and even American servicemen, and sets them to music shot through with the spirit of the great songs of his youth. It’s a diary, or a blog, in which Ondrasik speaks his mind about current issues, experiences and sentiments, while setting those thoughts to piano, bass and drums."
Slice is an eclectic collection of songs that give us some insight into who John Ondrasik is as a person. Which is why I am drawn to his work, because he seems...Real. Normal.
I enjoyed the unique arrangements of these new songs, which incorporated shout-outs to some of his favorite older songs, either with lyrics or instrumentals. There were hints of Billy Joel, Earth, Wind and Fire and even actual words from Don Mcclean's American Pie. Academy Award-winning composer Steven Schwartz (who penned the songs for acclaimed musicals such as Wicked, Godspell and Pippin), collaborated with Ondrasik to bring the idea to fruition. He helped write the title track Slice (as well as the song Above the Timberline).
“We sat down at a coffee shop to talk about writing together,” says Ondrasik, “
I told him about my idea for ‘Slice,” and ‘American Pie’ actually came on the
radio. It was surreal. Stephen immediately wrote the first two lines on a
napkin, and we were off and running."
My favorite songs on the CD have to be Story of Your Life and Song to the Unknown Soldier. I love that he is an active supporter of our military. Did you know John created & produced “For the Troops”, a CD compilation of superstar recordings that is available for free to every active service person in US Armed Forces? And he regularly performs for US Forces at Guantanamo Bay, Hawaii, Guam and Japan on USO tours.
Slice will be available for purchase on October 12, though you can pre-order your copy now throug Amazon.com, were you can also listen to samples of the playlist. While you are waiting for your CD, you can check out some of Five for Fightings sites:
FFF Website: http://bit.ly/FFFWebsite
FFF Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/johnondrasik
FFF Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/fiveforfighting
He'll also be doing some guest spots in the next few weeks, so you can catch him on these shows:
CBS Saturday Morning - 10/10
The View - 10/14
The Today Show - 10/16
AND THEN, if you want to catch him live, he'll be doing a concert series called An Acoustic Evening with Five For Fighting. I am so bummed that there is nothing schedule for Phoenix yet, I would love to see what is sure to be an amazing show. To find out about how to get tickets in a market near you, go to his site.
And if you've made it through my entire review post, you get a reward for your diligence! Mom2Mom Network is donating an autographed copy of Slice for me to give away to one of my readers! I am soooo jealous! I didn't even get on e of those! To enter, just leave a comment naming your favorite Five for Fighting song. If you want extra entries you know the drill, just leave a separate comment for each action you take:
- tweet the contest
- leave a link to this page on your Facebook page
- Follow my I Am Boymom blog
Contest will end at 12 Midnight PST on October 20, 2009 and is open to US and Canadian residents only.