Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Johan - Johan - 1997

The first album by the Dutch pop quartet Johan didn't make a lot of noise outside the Netherlands, which is a shame because its mix of indie-guitar nervousness, power pop hooks, and retro-pop sophistication is absolutely terrific. Singer-guitarist Jacco de Greeuw sings the instantly catchy tunes in flawless unaccented English, in accordance with the grand Europop tradition, and lead guitarist Remco Krull fills the songs with just-so one-note solos and Wedding Present-style strummy riffs. The songs, all originals with the odd and unexpectedly perfect exception of a suitably psychedelic cover of Aphrodite's Child's "It's Five O'Clock," are uniformly solid, and the simple, straightforward production keeps things relatively unadorned, with the exception of a moody cello on "Swing" and layered, breathy overdubbed harmonies on the trippy "Life on Mars" (not the Bowie song). An unpretentious debut with few weaknesses.-AMG

Johan - Johan - 1997/rs
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Silversuit said...

A gem Curt. Loving this one! Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

bought this one way back when it came out. one of my favorite albums of the 90s. certainly wil appeal to powerpop fans, but with a unique sound/style.


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