Johnny Foreigner – Johnny Foreigner Vs. Everything
With each album, Johnny Foreigner seem to find it harder and harder to relinquish material: their thirteen-track debut seemed the optimum length for such high energy tumultu-pop, whereas its fifteen-track follow-up felt comparatively swollen. Unfortunately, the seventeen-track Johnny Foreigner Vs. Everything suffers the same ailment as its predecessor, only more acutely.
Parcelling the material into smaller portions does wonders, since nothing here is wholly disposable (though twin concrète interludes would be first for paring were it given a proper filleting). Taken together, however, the flow is damaged by frequent tempo swerves – take, for instance, the transition from Hulk Hoegaarden, Gin Kinsella, David Duvodkany, etc’s punky swish (they still christen their songs with expert irreverence) to the bland sorbet of Johnny Foreigner Vs. You. Interpreted more favourably, the preponderance of slower tracks suggests a band midst-metamorphosis; an exciting proposition, as when they get the balance right – see 200X’s sensitive breather – they triumph. [Chris Buckle]