Lost Embers is the solo effort for Johnny Boon. His recent release The Borders of Winter is an acoustic based eleven-song album that is far from perfect but shows some potential. Boon has a knack for songwriting, which is obvious. There were a number of songs that were immediately enjoyable.
The mishaps on The Borders of Winter stem from a lot of technical issues. For example his acoustic guitar on a number of song sounds tinny and lacking any warmth. There is very low-end on the album, which doesn’t help either. The other problem is that a number of songs have glaring issues with timing.
The album opens with “Cold Winter” which revolves around basic guitar chords and sporadic percussive elements. It’s a decent riff but drags on for about three minutes too long and never builds off the initial riff. “New Day Ahead” revolves over a metronome like drumbeat that never changes and sounds out of place against the guitar. The song would have worked better if he omitted the drums completely because it heightens the fact there are a number of parts that are off-time.
The highlight is “So Many People” which has the most infectious vocal melody and also happens to have the most aesthetically pleasing elements. His guitars sound decent on this track and the overall structure is single worthy. “Borders Of Winter” is another worthwhile track while “Darkness” is about five DBS softer than the rest of the album. As the album progresses “No One Else Like You” is the other highlight. The album oddly ends with “Sad Machine” which is a beat heavy electronic sounding song.
Boon has some talent but has his work cut out for him if he wants to compete with artists in a similar vein such as Bon Iver, Sufjan Stevens and Sun Kil Moon. He may want to think about working with a real drummer because the pre-programmed beats that never change don’t add much to these songs. Hopefully, with a little refining and better engineering Boon can come into his own.
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