Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

John Ralston

Needle Bed

2006-09-04

For fans of Dashboard Confessional, Bright Eyes, and ex-Smoking Popes and Alkaline Trio drummer Mike Felumlee. John Ralston takes indie pop-rock and makes a very listenable debut album. Compared to the likes and musical wits of Conor Orbst (Bright Eyes), Ralston’s first album, Needle Bed, has a little bit of everything; smart lyrics, catchy hooks, and a legend for producer in Jay Bennett (former guitarist/everything man of Wilco). Bennett, who did a lot of the work on Wilco’s YHF album (his last), really shows his handiwork in the production of Ralston’s music. Track 2, “It’s Not Your Fault” is a fine example of Bennett’s work behind the boards and Ralston’s musicianship and vocals. Track 5, “I Believe In Ghosts” and track 6 “No One Said It Was Easy” are two great songs that are easily radio singles in the making. The first single, track 7, “Gone, Gone, Gone” (contains swear words ‘FUCK’) is basically diet Bright Eyes masterpieces. An overall strong debut from Ralston. Even if you don’t like Dashboard Confessional, you should enjoy Ralston’s lyrics. – Lane Zoerhof

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