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While his friends were cramming economics, science, and business, Jon McLaughlin was studying piano, and his major-label debut confirms that the Indiana-bred singer/songwriter finished at the top of his class. Three years after his self-titled debut, which was the result of a competition triumph at his music school, McLaughlin meshes his upbringing with his adult-life influences (Billy Joel, Ben Folds) for an ambitiously crafted and extrovertly performed album of piano-led rock and balladry. Essentially a memoir for the twenty-something artist, Indiana wanders through admissions and opinions about love, conviction, close acquaintances, and familial bonds. McLaughlin's classical ties are rarely missing and most evident in songs like the good-natured "Industry," the yearning-for-home title track, and "Amelia's Missing," where he shamefully asks, "I can't find my wallet, so how in the hell am I supposed to find the one that I love?" The latter is the kind of heart-on-the-sleeve, fingers-on-the-ivory sincerity that has garnered McLaughlin a loyal contingent wherever he plays--one that's likely to breed as these 13 songs hit the street. --Scott Holter
Top Customer Reviews
There are two versions of Jon McLaughlin's "Indiana". There's the mainstream edition (buying it from Amazon nets you a nice bonus disc with it), and there's the Christian edition of it. The difference between the two albums is one song. The mainstream edition has the song "Amelia's Missing", which includes the line "how in the hell am I supposed to find the one that I love?". The Christian edition removes this song and replaces it with "Proud Father", a ballad about unconditional love.
The opening song on the album, "Industry", may be the best song I've heard in 2007. With an incredibly upbeat fusion of piano, pop, rock, and original lyrical style it will hook you from the start. The 2nd track, "Beautiful Disaster" has been getting some radio play recently, and is a bit more mellow than the first track but still very good. I really like "Human," a song about how we're all human, and the more upbeat rockish song "Anthem for American Teenagers." Maybe its because I don't know much about the state of Indiana, or because its significantly slower than many of the songs, but for whatever reason the title track, "Indiana," is maybe my least favorite song on the album. I think my two other favorite songs on the album are "Perfect," a beautiful and relatively upbeat love song, and "Until You Got Love" which are the last two songs on the album.
Certainly some are better than others, but I really enjoy every song on this album. I would almost buy this album for "Industry" alone. I would recommend this album to all of my friends and particularly anyone looking for something new and unique or for some good piano driven pop. Buy this album, you will not be disappointed.
Standouts include the radio hit that is sure to get a lot of airplay this summer, "Beautiful Disaster," the beautifully piano driven piece "Industry," the rocking and extremely catchy "For You From Me," the uptempo hook-heavy "Praying to the Wrong God," and the self titled touching ballad "Indiana."
I'll end the review with some amazing lyrics from the song "Indiana"
"The trick of love is to never let it find you,
It's easy to get over missing out.
I know the hows and whens, but now and then,
She's all I think about."
If you're looking for some deep music with strong lyrics and extremely catchy hooks, look no further than Jon McLaughlin.
The infusion of the piano into is songs is amazing- Thus if you like piano, I urge you to pick up this album.
His songs are very well written- both lyrically and musically. The songs are absolutely beautiful.
This kid is going to be somewhere big in a short while. Just give his CD a listen- I urge you.