Album Review:: John P. Strohm "Everyday Life"

If you were digging the sweet sounds of The Blake Babies or The Lemonheads sometime during the late 80’s and 90’s, then you’re probably very familiar with the work of John P. Strohm. While moving to Boston from Indiana in 1986, he co-founded the Blake Babies with Juliana Hatfield and Frieda Love. Strohm later found membership in Antenna, Velo Deluxe and The Lemonheads. He followed with the release of two fine solo LP’s on Flat Earth Records: “Caladonia” (1996) and “Vestavia”(1999) – which leads us to his long awaited latest release – “Everyday Life” (Superphonic).

“Everyday Life” is Strohm’s first solo LP in almost 10 years. It’s a collection of 12 semi-autobiographical songs, recalling all the glory of his former bands and picking up where his two solo LP’s left off. The album kicks into gear from the get-go with the crunchy power chord strums of “Sha La” – quickly followed by the nice lazy groove of “Black Hole In My Heart”. Already on my heavy rotation list are the tracks “I-95” and “The Long So Long” – country flavored/rock driven songs that could very well have been found on lost LP’s from Gram Parsons or The Band. Another of the album’s spotlight songs: “Waiting For The World To End”, is the perfect theme for those folks not sure where lifes suppose to go – with it’s all too familiar theme and lyrics: “Can’t face middle age on a minimum wage” or the songs’ bridge: “In between the reality and the dream / Just trying to get by / Is that so wrong? / All day long singing old familiar songs / Someday it’ll be gone”. The title cut – “Everyday Life” bounces along with a pure honey coated melody and an ever-so catchy chorus, you’ll be humming and singing before it’s two and a half minutes are up. Much of the 12 track LP are made up of mid/fast tempos, but Strohm’s slower/introspective side makes a nice appearance in “Traveling Salesman” and the acoustic based “Anna” – both featuring pleasant touches of keyboard and soft atmospheres. “Everyday Life” doesn’t break any new ground, but it’s certainly a great return of a great performer and most importantly some great tunes. Lets hope LP four arrives soon!

Video:: John P. Strohm w/The Lemonheads –
“It’s All True”/ “If I Could Talk I’d Tell You”/”Break Me” (Live 1996)

Video:: The Blake Babies “Temptation Eyes” (Music Video)

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