Review : Johnny Reid - Fire It Up
Edmonton JournalReid himself has little in the way of swagger, coming across as more a responsible family man than a bar hopper, and even when he declares Let’s Have a Party you can be pretty sure that this one will end by midnight. He’s a sensitive sort, well dressed and polite, prone to the kind of Inspirational Verse that has him sending unabashed Valentines to his wife (Love of a Lifetime). The production is suffocatingly slick but Reid’s voice is warm, and if his lyrics turn on too many hackneyed phrases he does sing them for all they’re worth.
All the musical bases are covered; there are touches of fiddle and mandolin, horns and organ, the expected bagpipes (on the elegant Till We Meet Again), mid-tempo dance numbers and a few sentimental ballads like Dedicated To You, songs just begging to be inserted in a Hollywood romantic comedy. It’s a predictable radio-friendly formula, but Reid’s continued success appears to depend on this; as a marketing plan Fire It Up will no doubt be a great success, as an artistic statement it’s simply one more in a series of holding pattern albums....full text
The IndependentFire It Up may lack the complexity and crassness for some younger audiences, yet it offers a more diverse sound than Reid’s previous offering, A Place Called Love, which leaned more in the adult contemporary direction. This album also features two duets: “Baby I Know It” with Carolyn Dawn Johnson (a Canadian country songstress with a strong voice but little recognition outside of CMT) and “Walking on Water” with Serena Ryder. Ryder is a prominent voice on the indie scene, and one of the most under-appreciated female artists in Canadian music – despite the genre hopping, her presence effortlessly complements Reid in a sensual, visceral fashion.
Even derivative imagery and song structures can’t take away from the fact that Fire It Up is an original album. Johnny Reid isn’t stuck in the past, but rather grown-up enough to appreciate the sounds and styles of the 1960s and pay them relevant homage in a 2012 context. The sound is full and the production crisp, and though no one song sticks out, the album stands whole and gives the downhearted and the optimist alike something to lean on....full text
Atlantic Sea BreezeThe CD was recorded in Nashville and Toronto and has a blend of soul, rhythm and blues, rock and country. It was a bit of a party making the CD Johnny said and he was surrounded by some of his closest co-writer friends in the business such as Thom Hardwell, Nick Trevisick and Kevin Killen.
Reid wrote many of the songs while touring and these songs were written with more sonic dept than others he wrote in the past and uses heavier drum sounds and a more electric feel.
One of the songs included is the song, Till We Meet Again, while featuring The Toronto Ontario Police Pipe Band which was a feel for Johnny's Scottish Roots. He included sounds in Rock with Let's Have A Party & Yeah Its All Right-sounds in country with You Got Me and Baby I Know It and sounds in Gospel with Walking On Water....full text
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