Owning stages from LA to New York is award-winning singer-songwriter and versatile recording artist Charlie John with his eclectic 12-track album entitled 'CHARLIE.'
A dedicated musician for over 12 years, Charlie John has cliched titles like Best Original Pop Song in the 2016 Ohio Music Awards and the Grand Prize at Songdoor 2016 for "Change Me"—not to mention being approached by The Voice producers for auditions on three separate occasions.
Now settled in Covington, KY, Charlie John continues his musical journey with a diverse new album, CHARLIE, spanning acoustic pop and singer-songwriter to pop/rock and dance. "Out of the hundreds of songs I've written over the years, these are the 12 I feel closest to," explains Charlie John on the new record. Without further ado, let's dive in.
Here's an anthem anyone can get down with. The album's bright and bold intro track, "Cheer Up," kicks off with upbeat piano chords and striking electric guitars alongside Charlie John's high-energy vocals. As the track expands, he slaps the speakers with relatable lyrics of his distaste for two, quite annoying, words: cheer up. If only it were that simple. Yet, Charlie John keeps the vibes high with immense energy and groovy instrumentals.
Upping the emotion in track number two, "All I Know," Charlie John's breathy and warm vocals meet the speakers alongside thick drum arrangements that lead to a powerful, intimate hook. While he expresses his undying (and perhaps unrequited) love for someone, the instrumentals swell into a mighty pop/rock atmosphere, loaded with genuine emotion and desire. It's a killer tune that hits in all the right places.
Maintaining the emotion is the third track, "Can You Hear Me?" quickly diving into profound and relatable lyrics of heartbreak and turbulent relationships, feeling an apparent disconnect but yearning to make it right. The song's instrumentals and production are deeply cinematic, crescendoing on the hook for maximum impact, while Charlie John expresses those deep, inner emotions that ache the soul. It's a theatrical and compelling pop song that tugs on every heartstring.
In track number four, "Circles," Charlie John takes us down a vibrant, electronic journey with sweet synth melodies and a pulsating kick alongside his expressive vocals. While touching on the back-and-forth, ups and downs of a turbulent relationship, there's a theme of acceptance that lingers. Charlie John's not fond of the games, but as long as that person is by his side, he might come out unscathed.
Gracing our speakers is the first feature on the album with "Sun Comes Up (ft. Clara Wilson)." This refreshing pop/dance anthem brightly opens with plucky synths and subtle snaps alongside tender percussion as Charlie John expresses his desire to remember those small, special moments with someone dear; the blissful beat drops and takes us on a sonic vacation. Clara Wilson's velvety vocals are a treat for the ears, and they offer a pristine back-and-forth dynamic to accentuate this passionate story.
Landing on the album's sixth track, "The Best Is Yet To Come," we shift into a tender and inspiring ballad to the world. As plucky acoustic guitar melodies and Charlie John's soothing vocals float through the speakers, we're met with chilling piano melodies and an all-encompassing hook that feeds the soul. This mid-way pick-me-up reminds you to stay grounded, keep pushing forward, and do what makes you feel alive. After all, "The Best Is Yet To Come."
Reaching the album's second half with track seven, "Over My Head," we instantly hear Ed Sheeran and John Mayer influences through somber acoustic guitar picking and Charlie John's harmonious vocal layering. His intimate and personal lyrics express the freeing, refreshing emotions he feels in someone's presence. It's a tender homage to someone special, past or present, who made him feel on top of the world.
Keeping the passion alive is the eighth track, "Hearts Don't Break," softly opening with beautiful piano melodies and Charlie John's chilling vocals. As the downtempo percussion melts through the speakers, we sink further into the ethereal atmosphere while Charlie John wears his heart on his sleeve with honest lyrics that recall the memories and love once shared. Yet, again, there's a theme of acceptance, knowing that moving onward and upward beats the alternative.
Hitting play on track number nine, "Sun Comes Up (ft. Clara Wilson)," we're met with another upbeat ballad featuring the angelic vocals of Clara Wilson. While the song opens with soothing piano melodies and tender percussion, Charlie John pleads for a lover to return and rekindle their once-lit flame. Clara Wilson's stunning and powerful vocals round out the song perfectly, offering an engaging dynamic that leaves us hooked on this compelling love story.
Another relatable theme strikes the speakers with track number ten, "I Can't," playfully opening with plucky guitars, bright piano melodies, and mid-tempo percussion. Charlie John uses this track to emphasize the post-breakup recovery and realizations that leave him confessing his inability to live without someone's love. Facing demons is challenging, yet Charlie John emphasizes how he never thought he'd be doing it alone.
Ready to liftoff? Charlie John's eleventh track, "Break Your Heart," packs all the energy and spirit to take you out of this world. With heavy bass licks and pop/rock instrumentals, the track gradually expands into a scorching atmosphere with crunchy electric guitars and driving drums. At the same time, Charlie John expresses his regret for breaking someone's heart and not being ready to handle all they are. The fiery guitars and anticipation-packed bridge leave us locked in until the last beat.
Landing on the album's twelfth and final track, "Take Me Home," Charlie John hits us with a heartfelt tribute to Phil Collins with a cover of his classic hit, "Take Me Home." It's a perfect addition to the album and an epic closer, perfectly encapsulating the hills conquered and peaks reached after a long, tumultuous journey. And Charlie John's powerful vocals exude nothing but passion and confidence, closing the album on an inspiring note.
With themes of love, heartbreak, mental health, and finally belonging somewhere, Charlie John's 12-track album CHARLIE is a treat for anyone. Hear it yourself and find the eclectic new album on all digital streaming platforms.