Thursday, March 9, 2023

Album Review: Everybody Wants Control Of You

Artist: H.M. Johnson
Title: Everybody Wants Control Of You

Label: Trashmore Records

Year: 1994

Genre: Jazz, Blues, R&B
Condition: CD case/insert very good, disc very good (no skips)

Compact disc found in Centerville Turnpike DAV Thrift Store in Chesapeake, Virginia. H.M. Johnson is a prophet. In this 1994 album, he is warning us that "Everybody Wants Control Of You". Listening in 2023, one cannot deny the prescience of his call to the citizens of the world. We are not in control. Our lives are not our own. Who is "Everybody"? According to H.M., it's the government, the preachers, and rock stars. We, the common folk, are all merely blind puppets. We are pawns in civilization's cruel game. Big banks and big media rule us. We are slaves to everything and everybody. There is no hope. We're born suckers and we'll die suckers. Smooth, crisp jazz scale guitar solos take the listener on an adventurous roller coaster ride over the course of this album. Strap in because it's a thrilling ride.

According to his website, H.M. left a band called The Rhythm Kings "to play the music he really wanted". Thank God for that realization. Here is a song by the band called "Baby Take It Easy" that clearly shows us that H.M. was bogged down with a clunky horn section and cluttered bass/drum combo. The unnecessary sax solo is oddly placed and goes on for too long. Annoying brass punches startle the listener. Worst of all, where's the guitar solo? Thanks, but no thanks. Very glad that H.M. left this mess of amateurs to start his own thang. He still regularly performs in Virginia, wowing crowds of all ages with his laid back vocals and big hollow body guitar gymnastics. Watch this remarkable clip of H.M. performing a one minute jazzy blues ditty from February 2023. With jazz cap placed perfectly askew on his head, H.M. Johnson's fingers effortlessly dance on the fretboard to create a minuscule masterpiece.

Best tracks are "Everybody Wants Control Of You", "Song For Barf", "Movin'".

CD Track Listing - You're Always There, You Move Me, Everybody Wants Control Of You, I've Never Been So Lonely, The Most, One Woman Man, Movin', Song For Barb

Check out the H.M. Johnson Band's Facebook page to see if they're playing soon.