The Great Book of John The Great Book of John

The Great Book of John The Great Book of John
Taylor Shaw (the leader of the Great Book of John) sounds like Thom Yorke ― there's no getting around it. While that might not have been so obvious on their debut, which was mainly acoustic, their self-titled sophomore effort switches on the amps, which will no doubt lead to many Radiohead comparisons. The Great Book of John takes a while to get going, or at least to really start revealing its depth. By the time that fourth song "Wise Blood" arrives, it's apparent they're holding back. Instead of the obvious swooping guitar panoramas, they shift gears and the rest of the album manages to capture the majesty of Whiskeytown beautifully without forgetting that their music does deserve a widescreen. This is late '90s Americana at its best, but brought up to date. It isn't a perfect album though. Just like Ryan Adams never bats 1.000, Shaw has a few missteps along the way, including "Let Me Slide," which borrows a little too heavily from "Creep." Nevertheless, there is more than enough to recommend giving this a listen. (Communicating Vessels)