This Perfect World

This Perfect World

by Freedy JohnstonFreedy Johnston


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Freedy Johnston's major-label debut is less consistently stunning than its predecessor, 1992's Can You Fly but, taken on its own terms, it affirms his position as one of the best songwriters of his generation. Certainly no one paints more evocative portraits of lonely, disappointed people. The majority of these 12 tracks are about men who either know or strongly suspect that they've done something unforgivable, and such is Johnston's mastery as a lyricist that it's even subtly apparent when his narrators are lying to themselves. Johnston frames his bleak narratives with melodic, chiming folk-rock; if anything, the predominantly mid-tempo songs and radio-ready Butch Vig production are a little too smooth, robbing This Perfect World of the edge that made Can You Fly so piercing. The most memorable tracks are the sparsest ones, where Johnston's words and appealingly plain voice take center stage. In addition to the melancholy opener, "Bad Reputation," other highlights include "Can't Shake This Town" and the witty "Dolores" -- few songwriters could pack so many Lolita allusions into three minutes of guitar pop without sounding too clever by half. Best of all is the mournful, eerie title track, which describes the possibly mortal sins of one man's past and the hopelessness of his future with the economy and punch of a good short story.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/28/1994
Label: Elektra / Wea
UPC: 0075596165525
catalogNumber: 61655
Rank: 176136

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Freedy Johnston   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Marshall Crenshaw   12-string Guitar
Marc Ribot   Guitar
Kevin Salem   Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Doug Erikson   Piano
Mary Gaines   Background Vocals
Graham Maby   Bass
Dave Schramm   Bass,Guitar,Steel Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar,String Bass
Butch Vig   Percussion,Drums
Frank Vilardi   Drums
Jane Scarpantoni   Cello
Mark Spencer   Guitar
John Yates   Bass

Technical Credits

Freedy Johnston   Composer
John Siket   Engineer
Butch Vig   Producer

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