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John Willoughby – Something Wicked

John Willoughby - Something Wicked

Music genres and movements are as much about the sounds coming out of the speakers, as about the trousers and haircuts being worn by the people on stage. And, while we may like to imagine that style over substance is a modern problem, it’s been this way ever since the dawn of pop music. What can a rockstar do to increase their chances of survival in this world? 

Learn to play prog-rock, jazz and all of the things that don’t get on the radio, maybe. There’s your education. After the prog-rockers of the 1970s were no longer a viable arena-filling entertainment, many of the musicians went on to have pop hits, write movie scores, or teach music in schools. You can’t do that on a haircut alone.

These kinds of musicians can do anything, including play modern indie-rock. John Willoughby’s “Something Wicked” is a collection of pleasant sounding songs, dramatic in tone and execution, that could easily be slipped into a modern indie-rock playlist. But, listen closely, and you’ll notice a certain sophistication there that can only be delivered by top-tier players. 

John Willoughby - Something Wicked

Take for example, opening track “Falling in Shadows,” in which the listeners are taken on a tour of mysterious, unbelievable worlds. The chorus might be as poppy as modern indie-rock will allow it, but the arrangement takes a few progressive ideas and works with them. 

There’s no messing about either on the dark power-ballad “So Hard Loving You” or “Something Wicked”, with a Jimmy Page-like guitar riff powering the song forward. 

“Struck by Lightning” opens with a ghostly guitar arpeggio before landing on the kind of vocal melodies and arrangement that bring to mind The Cranberries in their heyday. 

But, it’s not like John Willoughby does it alone. Throughout the record, he manages to make the songs move with a little help from his friends including Julie Slick and Randy McStine. 

And it’s not like Willoughby’s work is devoid of humour, either. That’s not the way to write a pop record! “My Zombie Girlfriend” sounds like the kind of tune that Glenn Danzig may have pocketed for a rainy day from his time with horror-punk innovators, Misfits. 

The closing track, “See You Again,” greets the listener with the pleasant demeanour of a tour guide who doesn’t want a potential future customer to leave spooked by what they witnessed. 

John Willoughby’s “Something Wicked” is proof that while music trends come and go, those who can play music proficiently have the best chance of feeling where the wind blows today and what’s likely to happen in the immediate future. 

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About author

Eduard Banulescu is a writer, blogger, and musician. As a content writer, Eduard has contributed to numerous websites and publications, including FootballCoin, Play2Earn, BeIN Crypto, Business2Community, NapoliSerieA, Extra Time Talk, Nitrogen Sports, Bavarian FootballWorks, etc. He has written a book about Nirvana, hosts a music podcasts, and writes weekly content about some of the best, new and old, alternative musicians. Eduard also runs and acts as editor-in-chief of the alternative rock music website www.alt77.com. Mr. Banulescu is also a musician, having played and recorded in various bands and as a solo artist.
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