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Two Lights

59 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 1, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

John is now preparing for the release of 'Two Lights,' a new album of delicate, piano-driven pop instrumentals accompanied by his signature airy vocals. The album's first single The Riddle is well a composed and sweetly infectious love song and every thing you would hope for from Five for Fighting.

On his third disc, the one-man musical marvel known as Five for Fighting proves yet again that all that's standing between him and peace of mind--not the fleeting kind, but full-on, to-the-bone, heart-and soul-cleansing peace of mind--is a song. Two Lights picks up where America Town left off, diving smack-dab into the national consciousness and hitting, predictably, a sorrowful spot. First track "Freedom Never Cries" is a self-skewering lament that calls out to complacent countrymen by way of confession and an artful, piano-enhanced weighing of consequence. It's followed by "World," which reminds unpreachily, and not unpleasantly, that "history starts now." Where Two Lights better resembles 2004's hugely successful The Battle for Everything is in its more inward-looking tracks, the tender first single "The Riddle" among them. There, and on the near criminally pretty "I Just Love You," the mush-hearted may find themselves fighting the urge to hug the closest stranger. But despite his now-dependable dips into mopiness, John Ondrasik--Five for Fighting to you and the rest of the world--doesn't deny himself the opportunity to rock when he wants to. If anything makes this guy happy, it's the state of California: on "California Justice," he kicks off his shoes and works on his tan like a latter-day Beach Boy from the dark side, and "'65 Mustang" rambles down the coast with the kind of carefree vibe that, outside of a song, only a convertible can deliver. --Tammy La Gorce

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 1, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000G6BLFG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,576 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Richards HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 1, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The San Fernando Valley can relax again. After suffering the after shocks of the disastrous Ray Romano/Kevin James movie "Grilled", along comes California born John Ondrasik with the save, a collection of songs worthy of printing another batch of "Visit California" bumper stickers. (Ondrasik goes by the name "Five For Fighting", which is normally used in reference to a hockey penalty, but he figured it would be easier for people to remember)

A series of little essays about life in America, freedom, war heroes, vintage cars and what have you, this album was inspired by real life conversations, and is the most personal of his three albums to date. First single "The Riddle (You & I)" is already taking the charts by storm, and justifiably so. He shares a conversation with his son, and sings "Here's a riddle for you / Find the Answer / There's a reason for the world / You and I..."

Other notable tracks are "Freedom Never Cries", a non-political war commentary with the lyrics "I only talk to God / When somebody's about to die / I never cherished freedom / Freedom never cries"; and also "World"; the highway anthem "California Justice"; the title track, and the retro "Johnny America". For pure, unadulterated feel-good listening you MUST try "I Just Love You", and for a quirky change try the reggae-tinged "Policeman's Xmas Party"

The one major failing of this album is that it only has ten tracks, but they're darned good songs, so dust off your Americana collection, get a new flag for the porch, and relax with Five For Fighting in your CD player today.

Amanda Richards, August 1, 2006
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Greg Robertson VINE VOICE on August 16, 2006
Format: Audio CD
My primary recommendation for enjoying the album "Two Lights" is that you put it into your iTunes mix (or your CD player) and just let it play without focusing on it. Why? Because most of the songs here start a little slow in comparison to, say, "Superman" or "100 Years," so it's easy to think, "Man, he's lost it." When I just let the album play and got busy with work, though, after a while I found myself repeatedly pausing to listen and think, "Hey, that's good...who is it?"

The savior of this album, for me, is the lyrics. That is, most of these are great stories relating to family or the state of the U.S. and the world. "World," in fact, is all about deciding what kind of world you want it to be, because your choices make a difference. "Johnny America" and "Freedom Never Cries," on the other hand, are about the impact of America on the world -- good or bad. While "The Riddle" focuses on what a father teaches a son about living life and "I Just Love You" rings particularly true to anyone who loves a wife, husband, child, or parent well beyond the point of having particular reasons for doing so.

That said, "California Justice" and "Policeman's Xmas Party" don't do much for me, but they're OK. "65 Mustang" is light and fun to drive to -- no surprise there. And while I can't blame anyone for thinking, "Get to the point, will you?" on several of the songs, once they get going, they're well worth the listen.

My personal favorites? "The Riddle" (both versions), "World," "Two Lights," and "I Just Love You."

"Two Lights" isn't a really GREAT album, but if you enjoy Ondrasik's brilliant lyrics and light, crisp piano style, you should give this album the try it deserves.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Shawn on August 8, 2006
Format: Audio CD
The overall cd is pretty good. Not the greatest. Out of 10 songs tracks 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 are the only catchy ones. The rest don't really fit the first 5 tracks.

Freedom Never Cries: 3/5

Song is overall decent. Wouldn't make a single but it does have a wonderful tune to it and deep lyrics. The song gets boring in the music with a very unoriginal scale, G to D to E (walking down steps). It's an overused pattern and needs to be layed to rest for awhile.

World: 4/5

I can see this song becoming a single. Again you hear the annoying G to D to E almost right away, but it recovers with a powerful chorus and bridge that give the song new life.

California Justice: 5/5

Catchy tune and the beginning bass line is absolutely beautiful. The song has got to be one of the best songs on this release.

The Riddle: 5/5

First single from the CD and a wonderful choice, very deep story of his dad, himself and his son. Couldn't imagine a better tune for it.

Two Lights: 5/5

Another catchy song, symbolic and well put together.

65 Mustang: 3/5

Ok song about his car. Also somewhat catchy and enjoyable but not the best.

I Just Love You: 3/5

A simple love song. "I just love you, I don't know why, I just do." Very to the point, kind of plain though. But the bridge is an upbringer.

Policeman's Christmas Party: 1/5

Sad attempt at a "rap" or maybe a "porno" beat.

Worst song on the album. Sounds like he's drunk (the "party" touch maybe?) when he sang this song and the chorus maybe catchy but I can't bring myself to hear the rest of the song.

Road To Heaven: 2/5

Anyone remember that old overplayed hit "Something About the way...
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Topic From this Discussion
Song titles
Go to itunes. Check out the Riddle EP. $2.97 for 4 tracks... including the Riddle (great song!), an acoustic version of 100 years, and an itunes exclusive. Worth the 3 bucks. Also check out their website -- you can hear the entire song "The Riddle" there...
Jun 23, 2006 by Melinda Foster |  See all 3 posts
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