Jon Peter Lewis- Break the Silence
Adrenaline Music (7/22/08)
Pop / Rock
Former American Idol contestant Jon Peter Lewis’ sophomore LP is both emotionally charged and pop-hooked filled, as the songwriting is pretty solid and Lewis’ talent doesn’t fail him when applied appropriately. Like his 2006 debut, Stories from Hollywood, Break the Silence should satisfy the fans who have followed his career since his appearance in the series’ third season.
Lewis (or “JPL”, as Ryan Seacrest nicknamed him) is clearly influenced by many artists, from The Beatles to Ben Folds, as the album’s title is also reminiscent of Ryan Cabrera. The lyrics are honest and effective with a hint of subtlety: “I wanna close the window / I can scream out loud / And say all the wrong things / That I’m saying now”.
“Winning Streak” is a pleasant surprise, with its almost Bon Jovi-like sound, and is one of the strongest tracks off the album. “No Fire”, which, according to a press release, is JPL’s favorite, about a bittersweet remembrance of an ex-flame that had “no spark, no warmth, no fire,” and is perfect with the strong piano lead.
“Beautiful” would probably be best suited as a acoustic bonus track in the future, in order to switch it up a bit, as it sounds like just about every other male pop track out there. “Bridges” has a nice blues sound, but ultimately comes off as a little weak; however, I’d like to see JPL do more blues in the future as he definitely has glints of potential with that particular sound.
Doing a cover of the Garth Brooks song, “To Make You Feel My Love”, was a smart move, as JBL’s voice is considerably more enjoyable when it’s amid a more acoustic atmosphere than with electric guitars. “Have I Told You” reminds me a little bit of Ben Johnson, and is another one of the album’s strongest tracks.
On some of the tracks, however, JPL’s sound tends to seem a bit uninspired, as he sounds like he’s trying to mimic the sound of Chris Isaak and Ryan Cabrera, but in both cases, he’s not quite able to get it right enough to make it work. I would have scrapped at least five of the songs off the album because they don’t really stand out among other singles, and would also advise JPL to focus more on his acoustic sound because when he goes in too many directions, it just sounds like a collage of styles by a singer who still hasn’t found his own voice.
Tags: American Idol, Bon Jovi, The Beatles