Published Aug 05, 2014Taking the skills garnered from his recent film score work, former Fruit Bat Eric D. Johnson returns to the world of pop/rock with a bigger studio toolbox to supplement his well-worn bag of hooks and melodies. Johnson's compositional chops, guided and honed by long-time collaborator/producer Thom Monahan, put a pearly sheen on his rootsy songwriting — imagine an L.A. piano bar with a neon Joshua Tree mural for a backdrop and you have the dominant mood of the album.
More tempered and melancholy than on most of his Fruit Bats output, Johnson's writing owes some comparisons to fellow rockers turned film scorers like Jon Brion and Nathan Larson, the latter of whom is a collaborator on the album. Standouts like opener "For the Boy Who Moved Away" and "Mostly Just Like Fantasies" use these elements to great effect, but elsewhere the songs just hang on the themes like afterthoughts. (Easy Sound)