What’s Good (Music Thoughts: Something Good, Kelley Johnson)

Kelley JohnsonI have played Kelley Johnson’s album ‘Something Good’ a couple of times now, and for the life of me I cannot understand why nothing is sticking. Johnson has a great sense of jazz in her – she improvises great, and knows how to navigate tricky rhythm, but I am just not connecting emotionally with her musical choices. She sings the Carpenters song ‘Goodbye to Love,’ for example, and that is one of my favorite songs but her swinging arrangement for it feels completely wrong – is this an almost joyous arrangement for a song with the lyrics ‘I’ll say goodbye to love, no one ever cares if I should live or die.’  She starts of ‘Lullaby of Broadway’ as a ballad, and I almost get it, but then she continues with the familiar tempo. I appreciate her experimenting, but I just can’t get along with it. There will be people who will really enjoy this album, and I wish i did as well.

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