REVIEW: Johan Rodrigues – ‘Um’ EP


Artist: Johan Rodrigues
Album: Um EP
Genre: Pop, Rock, New Wave
For fans of: High Highs, Radio Dept., Real Estate

As a music journalist, one of the greatest feelings there is, is being pleasantly surprised by an artist you’ve never listened to before. For many of us that have experienced the sounds of countless bands and solo musicians, we can fall into this rut of assuming that if we’re not familiar with a name that it’s likely something we won’t enjoy. However, there are always diamonds in the rough to shine through and surprise you. While Johan RodriguesUm EP isn’t flat out original, it is well produced and it certainly grabbed my attention.

At roughly 19 minutes shared between its 5 tracks, Um charts and explores a few familiar territories of indie pop, alt rock, and at times, new wave vibes reminiscent of 80s favorites like Modern English and Tears For Fears. Although its contents may be familiar as mentioned, it still has some fresh ideas and the delivery is key.

Songs like the opener, “So Is Love” and middle piece, “Bad Girl” show promise for extensive radio play with catchy melodies and infectious choruses and while they’re slightly repetitive, this fits the radio friendly atmosphere all the same, and the tracks are enjoyable regardless of any negative insinuations that may seem to suggest.

“First Song,” ironically being the last track on Um, is sullied by nothing other than a short runtime. It’s hands down the best track on the effort, reminiscent of some of the angelic tunes from Dallas Green’s City and Colour project, but it’s also unfortunately the shortest. I can say that I’ve listened to “First Song” alone roughly twice as many times as I listened to the EP as a whole.

Um is evidence of Rodrigues’ talent and he’s certainly found a place on our radar as we look forward to what he has in store for the future. We’ll continue spinning Um in the meantime.

SCORE: 8.5/10

Review written by: Brian Lion – Follow him on Twitter

Brian Leak

Editor-In-Chief. King of forgetting drinks in the freezer. Pop culture pack rat. X-Phile. LOST apologist.
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