Happy Friday folks. Are you ready for some amazing music? I spotted this on Sunset in the Rearview first, and now I have to share. Johnny Rain dropped his debut album a few weeks ago and it is amazing. Rain’s songs deal with love, pain, cheating, trust, and the confusion that deep emotion can bring. Unlike many RnB albums, Rain’s songs are not disconnected singles compiled into a single package. “Lullaby Of Machine” is an album that tells a story, each song telling the next part. And it’s not a happy story. The story is follows boy meets girl, but emphasizes a lack of trust and a fear of close relationships. Many people are describing his music as a cross between Drake and the Weeknd. I think that’s fair but a bit redundant, since everyone compared the Weeknd to Drake when the Weeknd first came out. Rain certainly follows in the vocal tradition of the two, emphasizing a darker story than Drake, but more grounded and specific than the Weeknd.
“BL∆CKY∆YO” comes in the 3rd quarter of the album, telling the chapter in which boy finally calls girl back to explain why he’s been avoiding her. This song feels climactic to me. The song starts out very minimal. Simple vocal harmonies and snaps provide the backing for Johnny Rain’s soulful voice. The song ups the ante mid way through by emphasizing the hook with a single synth line. The second time the hook comes around, guitar, bass, and drums enter the fray. Then violin joins as the focus shifts to a skit of the phone call itself. The skit is sustained by the vocal “ooh-ahh”s, bass, and violin. The effect is stunning. To get the full effect, “Lullaby Of Machine” should be listened to all the way through. You can download the full album here. Enjoy.
BONUS: While the above song is my favorite, I thought I’d share the crowd favorite too. I also want to include this song to show how different Johnny Rain’s songs can be and give a sense of the range of genre that he can call upon. In “twisted high” he has a more standard beat, with a slow drum beat and some moments of 808 sound. He plays with his voice in this one and finishes with a dubstep breakdown. It’s slow, inevitable, and epic. Check it out.