Michael Johns: Hold Back My Heart

Nobody ever said you had to win American Idol to have a successful music career. In fact, each year more former contestants are finding a niche for themselves in some corner of the music business. Enter the latest of those, Season 7 alum Michael Johns, who used Idol as a springboard not just for popularity, but as a means to finally make the kind of music he wants—blue-eyed soul. Johns had been down the rock road before, his Australian roots bringing comparison to the late Michael Hutchence, among others. But it was when a phone call from his mom prompted Johns to follow his true passion, which was to sing the music he grew up on, and his path had suddenly been set out before him. Several years later, Johns has delivered a solid Downtown Music debut, Hold Back My Heart, with many of the songs being Johns’ co-writes with Dave Cobb. Falling somewhere between the music of his idols Otis Redding and Sam Cook and the sappy soul of guys like James Morrison, Johns has discovered a middle ground that could absolutely launch his career to lofty heights—though nothing is guaranteed in today’s music business. Coincidentally, the opening (and best) track was a song Morrison had a hand in, “Heart on My Sleeve.” Other standouts are the aching ballads “Fools Gold” and Heart is Weak” (the latter written by Diane Warren) as well as the bluesy boogie of “Little Bear.” As impressive as it is, though, Hold Back My Heart falls short of being a home run, but leaves plenty of room for growth. (LABEL: Downtown)

Michael Johns MySpace Page


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