Johnny Foreigner
Johnny Foreigner vs Everything



by iluvtweepop USER (7 Reviews)
November 9th, 2011 | 7 replies

Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: vs. the 'Grace' syndrome

The best gig I’ve ever been to (so far) was a Johnny Foreigner gig with Pandas and People and another band called VS. It was only a fiver and there can’t have been more than 30 people there. Johnny Foreigner just went for it though. They sang ‘Johnny Foreigner Vs. You’ without microphones and suddenly burst into ‘Lea Room’. Frontman Alexei was frequently apologizing for playing new songs, but he really didn’t need too. ‘Electricity Vs. The Dead’ sounded pretty awesome and the guitar led version of ‘With Who, Who And What I’ve Got’ is a lot better than the version on ‘there when you need it’. Yes indeed, it was a fantastic night, everyone was sweaty and having a good time, and Johnny Foreigner were so full of energy it was unbelievable.

I’m going to go on record as saying that Johnny Foreigner are a lot better live than they are in the studio. You can take their last studio album, ‘Grace And The Bigger Picture’ as an example. I mean, the individual songs are pretty friggin’ awesome, but the fact that the album was so messy and disorganised meant that it could never match the heights of their still brilliant debut ‘Waited Up Until It Was Light’. Of all the billions (about 5) of releases Johnny Foreigner have done since ‘Grace’, my favourite is by far ‘Live At The Garage’, because it’s live, and it isn’t weighed down by super messiness. Of course, ‘Certain Songs Are Cursed’ is consistent but that’s only 4 tracks long so it doesn’t count.

‘Johnny Foreigner Vs. Everything’ still suffers from the ‘Grace’ syndrome of being too messy, but this time Johnny Foreigner give you a lot more space to breath, with the inclusion of more soft tracks. These soft songs include some of the best on the album, such as ‘200x’ with its nice Kelly-lead verses and catchy chorus, and ‘(Don’t) Show Us Your Fangs’, which is built on samples provided by drummer/keyboardist Junior, with looping acoustic guitars and drums. The good thing about these 2 tracks is that they are placed between rockers, so as to calm things down a bit, and it works. The positioning of the 2 long tracks ‘Jess, You Got Your Song, Now Leave’ and the almost instrumental ‘Supermorning’ causes the middle of the album to drag though, which is pretty bad. They’re still good songs individually, but placing them together was a pretty big mistake.

The rockers on the album are a mixed bag but they do include the new best Johnny Foreigner song: ‘You Vs. Everything’ which is classic Johnny Foreigner all the way with its fast bassy verses and shouty anthemic chorus (IT’S YOU VS EVERYTHING!’). ‘Electricity Vs. The Dead’ however seems a bit flat, the drums seem reigned in and it’s not as epic as it should be. The re-recordings of 'With Who, Who And What I got' and 'What Drummers Get', however are ace songs that both sound a lot better than the originals.

All in all, ‘Johnny Foreigner Vs. Everything’ is a great triumph, Johnny Foreigner have proven that they can still make fantastic records and while they still haven’t quite got the hang of consistency, they’ve definitely got the hang of being awesome. The experiments with musique concrete, and longer songs are hit and miss, but you should definitely listen to it this album at least. Oh and see them live, you won’t regret it!

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user ratings (55)
other reviews of this album
Knott- EMERITUS (4.5)
Johnny Foreigner 3-0 Everything: gorgeous, daring and exhilarating from start to finish....

AliW1993 (3)
An album which has it's moments but ultimately fails to make much of an impression....

Comments:Add a Comment 
November 9th 2011


Album Rating: 3.5

vs. being a sucky reviewer :'(

anywayzz what do you think about it? review and album

November 9th 2011


alright review, the repeated use of "JoFo" really bugged me though.

you should also capitalize the album name when you use it

November 9th 2011


Album Rating: 3.5

Okk thanx

hopefully thats better now :D

November 9th 2011


actually there's a lot of stuff here that bugs me and probably shouldn't be in a review. like:

"but they’re still good songs, just looooonnnggg"

"But that being said, the re-recordings of ‘with, who…’ and ‘what drummers get’ (EVERYTHING!) kick some serious booty."

that last one is just a trainwreck

idk this review is weird. i won't neg but i definitely won't pos.

November 9th 2011


Album Rating: 3.5

Ok, I've re-written the bits you said

I know it's weird, I think I need more practise

November 9th 2011


Album Rating: 4.5

Lex is still the best guitarist I've ever seen live, which is probably more a result of the music I listen to than anything, but damn that guy can play.

Review sounds like you want them to write more verse-chorus-verse-chorus songs which I mean I guess I get yr point but I love how disorienting they've become, it's the same type of transition as from LC!'s beginning to Romance Is Boring and I'm a huge fan of not just 'sticking to what you know'.

Grace was only messy because it didn't have room to breathe.

Nice review.

November 9th 2011


Album Rating: 3.5

IKR! He plays with his fingers, it's awesome!

and I don't think it's as drastic as LC!'s but yh it's cool : )

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