The recent album by John Powers Been Around should come with a warning. It’s an extremely melancholy and contemplative album that can make even the most stoic of individuals shed a tear. Powers arms himself with little more than his voice and guitar throughout the duration of the album yet the results are often powerful testaments to his ability to convey emotion and meaning through his songwriting.
His songs are certainly impactful not only because of the notes he plays and textural nuances of his voice but the production itself. Powers sounds like he is playing right next to you while whispering in your ear. You can hear every word he is saying almost too clearly at times.
Been Around isn’t an album that most people will be able to just pop in and play. I don’t think you will want to play Been Around at your next party or during your daily workout. Its effect is most beneficial on a contemplative morning while you have time to yourself. The lyrics are important and almost as impactful as the melodies themselves.
The album begins with one of the tracks entitled “Been Around” that has some additional accompaniment. Powers picks at his guitar and sings with stoic indifference as orchestral strings gently make themselves present. He poses existential questions to the listener but also provides a couple of answers. “Been Around” was one of the highlights on the album.
Another highlight for me was “Follow That Call,” which combined melancholy with hopeful reassurance. A nice mixture I always enjoy when done right. As the album progresses there were a number of other songs, which I favored but for the most part Powers is consistent in regards to his songwriting ability. What I’m saying is that there are no real duds on this album. Been Around is a solid album overall but definitely has a time and place.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook