Owl John: Owl John

Sometimes it's not for us mere mortals to understand why members of a band feel the need to embark on a solo project. In the case of Frightened Rabbit frontman Scott Hutchison he admits it was his record label's idea, and so far the results suggest that it has been a savvy call. After a tough year of non-stop touring with the band, the label offered that, instead of immediately returning to the studio to record the next Frightened Rabbit album, he break the cycle of "record, tour, repeat," a system that admittedly has brought the band from their small-town Scottish origins to being a group of international renown, and indulge his creative juices and experiment with a solo project. Thus Owl John was born.

But FR fans have nothing to fear - Owl John bears many hallmarks of the band's sound, in particular Hutchison's unmistakable plaintive vocals. There is a subtle 80s gloss to the record that feels different, recalling fellow countrymen Big County in the louder moments and Peter Gabriel in the quieter ones, but there is certainly no harm in that. There also seems to be no cause for alarm that the band are in danger of dissolving, as other FR members appear throughout. So the final analysis of the merits of the "solo project" may have to wait until the next Frightened Rabbit album to reveal all the fruits of their diverted labors. But in the meantime we have a terrific record from an artist of undeniable talent to keep us company, and that is all we mere music mortals need ask for!

-Eric J. Lawrence

Track List:

1. Cold Creeps
2. Two
3. Hate Music
4. Songs About Roses
5. Los Angeles, Be Kind
6. Ten Tons Of Silence
7. A Good Reason To Grow Old
8. Red Hand
9. Don't Take Off The Gloves
10. Stupid Boy

Photo courtesy of the artist