First things first. Five for Fighting is a band name. But, there's no band. It's John Ondrasik and his piano. It's confusing. It's always been confusing. As a professional in the communications industry you might think this would bother me...but I've always liked it for the unique approach. Not much of a hockey fan either. But, I've always like Five for Fighting.
I was captivated by the songmanship and simplicity of Five for Fighting's second release America Town in early 2001. Following the tragedy of 9/11, John's song Superman got sweeping worldwide attention for it's heroic anthem amidst the ashes. Five for Fighting performs songs written with an honest pen. With care to be pure and simple. SO many of John's songs through the last decade have been written about social events or honorable causes. Love that! It's very clear to my ears that John adores 70s folk. Think early Elton John. Billy Joel. Don McLean.
When the One2One Network sent a copy of Slice to Mrs. Blonde, I was excited to review it. (Oh, btw, FTC, we got our copy for free. In response, I'm writing this review. I don't have a receipt either.) Here's the deal. It's classic Five for Fighting. But, not nearly as jolting as the earlier works. Track #1 Slices is a nice start. The first single Chances is good. John got help from Gregg Wattenberg writting both of those. Above the Timberline might be my favorite on the album. Makes me want to pack up my boys and take a long weekend in the Colorado mountains. But songs like Tuesday I just skip over every time. Reminds me of the Facts of Life theme song. And, unless you were into Blaire, it doesn't work for you either. The flow isn't there for me. The last song on the digital release, Nowhere Bar, seems to have some nice qualities about it. But, iTunes has it held hostage and it wasn't included on my copy of the album.
Let's take a tangent because I want to tell you about a very cool project John started. It's called whatkindofWORLDdoyouwant.com. The first video community that gives back!
We are all connected to one another through our actions. Each person has the ability to make a difference. This is one of the messages of the Five For Fighting video "World." Tell the world what kind of world you want and raise money for charity by making and uploading a video of yourself, your friends or your family--whomever and whatever--answering the question, "What Kind Of World Do You Want?" Or, you can raise money for charities that John Ondrasik of Five For Fighting has personally selected. Watch any clip on this site and money will go to the charity listed with that video. Please see below for the updated list of charities and contributions per views.
Yep, that's what I was thinking. I give that an A+!
Go on and check out Slice. It's worth your time. I'm give it a B. The album plays nicely as an entire piece, but you're not doing yourself a giant diservice by grabbing the highlights from your favorite digital download site either.
While I'm generally a fan of purchasing albums at local music stores, if you want the full release it looks like you need to head over to iTunes.
For more on Five for Fighting check out the artist's wiki definition, visit the website, YouTube page and/or Twitter account.