A Larum review by Johnny Flynn

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  • Released: Jan 1, 2008
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.3 (7 votes)
Johnny Flynn: A Larum

Sound — 8
Johnny Flynn is an English folk rock singer/songwriter out of London. He fronts his act on guitar, vocals, and the occasional banjo. He is accompanied by his band, The Sussex Wit even though the album was released under just his name. His album, "A Larum" was the first full album he released which came in 2008. The album has a great overall sound to it and is a great piece of folk music with a distinct indie sound to it, and new quality folk is hard to come by. Flynn's smooth vocals accompany many different plucking guitar riffs that fit very well with his voice and most tracks are filled with a variety of instruments including horns, banjos, and other various string instruments. The majority of the songs could be described as upbeat, with hopeful and optimistic vibes. The exception to this is a few sadder sounding songs, such as "Hong Kong Cemetery" and "Wayne Rooney" (which is one of the best on the album). The sound of this album isn't something you'll stumble upon often in the music world today, but it has a sound and musicianship in it that can't be overlooked.

Lyrics — 7
The lyrics and vocals on the album are clear, crisp, and smooth. The producers didn't mask the vocals with effects, or hide them in the background of the mix. Flynn's voice is up front, smooth, and clean, matching up extremely well with each guitar riff played on the song. His voice isn't astounding or operatic in any way; Flynn doesn't belt or push his voice to the limit in any of his songs but instead glides his voice along with each song at a more peaceful level to the point where the music and his voice reach a nice level together. When listeners hear lyrics in a song, many will try to understand them then possibly make connections with the lyrics. Flynn's lyrics are somewhere in-between this type of listening, the most of the time you can hear a lyric that is easily relatable and other times you may find yourself questioning the meaning of a line. But for them most part the quality of the lyrics is very good and the songwriting skills in him really stand out.

Overall Impression — 9
The overall impression that this album gives off is a very good one. The album was very well produced and has an excellent clean and fluid sound to it with every instrument taking their part in the track and filling up the sound nicely. If you're looking to listen to some shredding, cool guitar effects, and intense solos, then this album is not for you. Although any seasoned guitar player can hear that the plucking and finger picking Flynn does is skillful and creative. The guitar tones and sounds have a simple, earthy type of tone to that goes great with Flynn's voice. The album is perfect for any listener looking for a creative style, a catchy tune, and songs with mysteries and meanings within them. The overall best aspect of the album is the creativity. Even the bands they are close with him and can be classified with Johnny Flynn sound nothing like him. Flynn has developed his own style that reaches the epitome of creativity and originally in a musical era where these traits are hard to come by. Give it a listen and if you find the sound works for you, buy the whole album because every tune is a good one.

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