Year 3, Album 3: Making Some Transitions with Johnossi

Year 3, Album 3: Johnossi – Transitions

Tracklisting

  1. Into the Wild
  2. Gone Forever
  3. E.M.
  4. Everywhere (With You Man)
  5. For A Little While
  6. Alone Now
  7. Seventeen
  8. Bullbear
  9. Tell the World
  10. Great Escape

About the Album

Transitions is the fourth studio album by Swedish rock duo, Johnossi. The album was released in March of 2013 through Universal. The album peaked at number five on the Swedish charts. Johnossi consists of guitarist and vocalist John Engelbert and drummer Oskar “Ossi” Bonde.

Thoughts on the Album

The Swedish rock duo of John Engelbert and Oskar Bonde, otherwise known as Johnossi, are one of my favorite bands. Engelbert’s guitar effect pedals and distortion effects turn an otherwise ordinary acoustic guitar into a beastly machine that melts faces off. And Bonde, could be one of most underrated, as well as, unknown drummers out there. His powerful beats and wailing away on his drums driving the rhythm and the songs. The duo turn their otherwise ordinary instruments into arena-filling music makers.

With Transitions, the Swedish duo add a smattering of keys into their sound. Engelbert relying primarily on his guitar effects to flesh out a full band style of sound. This album finds the duo fleshing out their sound and approach, creating a much more heavier and thicker sound when compared to their 2010 album, Mavericks.

Transitions opens with a rather dark building number, Into the Wild. The track features heavily Engelbert’s big, warm voice incanting wearily over fuzzed-out guitar and skittering synth effect. The soong comes in at over a whopping six minutes long, so normal radio play with this song probably wasn’t and isn’t in the picture.

The album then hits it’s stride with the hugely melodic and incredibly catchy, Gone ForeverGone Forever welcomes a tempo change: it picks up. This track has an anthemic piano riff and giant chorus. By giant chorus, I mean, to quote the philosopher Bryzgalov, it’s humongous big. It’s chorus is a soaring one. It’s a well-written and easily accessible fist-pumper you could easily imagine being launched out over a sea of eager music festival-goers somewhere.

One of my personal favorite songs from this album is, Everywhere (With You Man). Much like Gone Forever, it is a hard-charging track. But whereas Gone Forever is more dark, Everywhere (With You Man), is more up-tempo. Much like Gone Forever, it has a soaring chorus. It’s a soaring radio-friendly hit.

Highlights/Lowlights: The track Seventeen might be another favorite of mine. It gives the back end of the album some much needed bombast and bravado. The guitar riffs stand out here. Bull/Bear isn’t a very strong song. It’s straightforward, but does little to differentiate itself from the other tracks.

Conclusion

Transitions is Johnossi‘s first release in the United States since 2007. This band, if you have a chance to see them live, do. They are a hell of show, much like their Swedish contemporaries Mando DiaoTransitions does in fact mark a transition for the Swedish duo. They add some keys, synth effects, and piano, but keep their traditional sound. The album features some heavy hitting, arena-filling, rock anthems. Definitely worth a pick up.

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