Happy-go-unlucky

It probably happens far too often - an artist who somehow manages to write great music but consistently falls short of their audience potential. Hopefully, John Cunningham's fourth release, Happy-go-unlucky, will widen the audience net a little, because it sorely deserves to. The album is crammed with beautiful, classic pop songs that will instantly please fans of the Pernice Brothers and Elliot Smith. Bouncy pianos, acoustic guitars, soft vocal layering and the occasional dash of strings and brass make this a great pleasure to listen to. A native of Brighton, UK, Cunningham has been fine-tuning his Beatles-inspired songwriting style for a while and it seems to have really come together on this release. "Way To Go," "You Shine" and the album's opener, "Losing Myself Too," are impressive, to say the least, and show a great deal of depth. The subject matter may be a bit dour, but the lyrics are sharply crafted and delivered wonderfully by Cunningham. Mixing a few ballads and brighter sounds throughout the album keeps the pace moving and at the end of the day, this is a great soft pop album. (Parasol)