written BY: BEN THOMSON, staff writer
There’s nothing more satisfying than watching an artist grow over a long period of time. I take joy in not just seeing a small artist reach a wider audience, but seeing talent be fully realized and expressed.
I’ve been aware of Adam Johnston for five years. When I discovered him, it was under his YouTube channel “YourMovieSucksDotOrg,” where he reviews films with a dry, sardonic sense of humor. After a year of watching him, however, I discovered his second channel: an Unkindness. Here, he posted music… written and performed by him. Out of curiosity, I decided to check out his song “Fragments” from 2010. And… I liked it. A lot, actually. Enough to be excited for the album he was promising. So, for the next four years, I patiently waited as Adam worked on both his album and his reviews. And then, ten days ago, he released it.
In his aptly named album, 10 Years, Adam shows his true potential as a musician. For starters, he’s a jack of many trades. Nearly every aspect of the album is done by him. He sings, he writes the music, he plays almost every instrument. Make no mistake, the man has loads of musical talent. This both helps and hinders the album. While he does an excellent job playing the instruments, the fact that all of it is him makes the record feel very amateur. At times the sounds feel stitched together, and they just barely come together to make the whole.
When it comes to the lyrics, each song is deeply (if not too much so) personal. The benefit of Adam being a YouTuber is that his personal life is public knowledge. So while some of the mystery may be missing from the lyrics, the experience is almost improved when you have the context for each song. At times, however, Adam writes too much. Some verses go on too long, and the flow is hindered as a result. Some verses even throw off the beat of the song. But these are only small criticisms, if I’m being honest. Overall, the album flows very well. For an indie production, 10 Years is a success. This is a great example of time being used wisely and what careful work and perfection can do to a final product. As a debut album, the record is a great showcase of Adam’s talents and how far he’s come since his days making EPs for YouTube. I can’t wait to see what Adam has coming up, even if I have to wait another 10 years for the final product. But, at least I have this one for now.
Categories: Arts & Entertainment