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Freedy Johnston

Never Home

  • Elektra

His 1994 album, This Perfect World, deservedly earned near-universal praise, and Johnston was even named “Songwriter of the Year” by Rolling Stone. Not bad for a guy who's still relatively unknown. But with this equally impressive follow-up, it's looking more and more like Johnston deserves all those comparisons to songwriters ranging from John Hiatt and Neil Young to Tom Petty and Elvis Costello. Never Home showcases Johnston's immense gift for pairing soaring melody lines with darkly riveting lyrics. Case in point: “Gone to See the Fire,” a downright catchy tune about an arsonist. Quirky perhaps, but positively infectious.

— Kevin O'Hare