Dress Rehearsal

Dress Rehearsal

4.0 3
by Carolyn Dawn Johnson
     
 

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A versatile vocalist and an artful songwriter, Carolyn Dawn Johnson ups the ante on her vibrant sophomore effort, Dress Rehearsal. She dots the soundscape with jittery fiddles, wailing '70s-'80s rock guitar, and furious percussion, and she's up to the vocal challenge posed by the aggressive musical support. Not only is Johnson projecting more personality than

Overview

A versatile vocalist and an artful songwriter, Carolyn Dawn Johnson ups the ante on her vibrant sophomore effort, Dress Rehearsal. She dots the soundscape with jittery fiddles, wailing '70s-'80s rock guitar, and furious percussion, and she's up to the vocal challenge posed by the aggressive musical support. Not only is Johnson projecting more personality than she did on her impressive debut, 2001's Room with a View, but she's also trucking out a bluesy, Deana Carter–like voice on a few cuts, and it's positively ingratiating. Philosophically, Johnson, who co-wrote 11 of the 12 songs here, reveals a pronounced self-doubt/self-affirming yin-yang that lends an interesting layer of meaning to this state-of-the-art mainstream production. In the title song, she advances a message of determination to live fully in the moment, as the music builds from a gentle shuffle in the verses to soaring, proud declamations in the chorus. On "God Doesn't Make Mistakes," to the lilting strains of acoustic guitar and pedal steel, Johnson sings forcefully of accepting who you are in every dimension, physical and otherwise. She gets feisty on the biting rocker "Squeezin' the Love Outta You," where she spits out a confrontational vocal aimed at a reluctant lover she's ready to dump. On a more sensitive note, "We Talked" is a warm, tender valentine to a couple resolving problems by keeping the lines of communication open, a strategy celebrated in choruses that build from a lilt to a powerful, guitar-rich crescendo. In "Head Over High Heels," with its fiddles working at a frantic pace and its electric guitars twanging and screaming jubilantly, Johnson exults in an ebullient declaration of all-consuming love. Dress Rehearsal, indeed -- this sounds like the real show. It should be a hot ticket.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Maria Konicki Dinoia
This sophomore effort from Carolyn Dawn Johnson is more of a tribute to her unsullied songwriting ability than to her vocal ability. The sassy Canadian co-wrote 11 of the 12 middle-of-the-road tracks and mostly what you'll hear in the first half of the album are fun and playful songs that don't demonstrate the vocal talent Johnson is known to have. Dress Rehearsal lacks the enthusiasm 2001's Room With a View so unashamedly articulated. The second half of the album seems to be ballad heavy, with a reserved Johnson sounding a little gray. Unfortunately, Dress Rehearsal is not an overly impressive second attempt and leaves you wanting more from the amiable Johnson.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/04/2004
Label:
Sony Bmg Europe
UPC:
0828765750028
catalogNumber:
657500

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Carolyn Dawn Johnson   Primary Artist,Background Vocals
Eric Darken   Percussion
Bruce Bouton   Steel Guitar
Matt Chamberlain   Drums
J.T. Corenflos   Electric Guitar
Paul Franklin   Dobro,Steel Guitar
Jim Hoke   Harmonica,Accordion,Jew's Harp
Dann Huff   Acoustic Guitar,Dobro,Electric Guitar
Gordon Kennedy   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Sitar,Background Vocals
Greg Morrow   Drums
Steve Nathan   Keyboards
John "J.R." Robinson   Percussion,Drums
John Willis   Acoustic Guitar
Glenn Worf   Bass
Jonathan Yudkin   Fiddle,Mandolin,Violin,Cello,Viola
Tim Akers   Keyboards
Keith Urban   Acoustic Guitar,Background Vocals,Soloist
Steve Mandile   Background Vocals
Wes Hightower   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Jeff Balding   Engineer
Charlie Black   Composer
Ben Fowler   Engineer
Mark Hagen   Engineer
Dann Huff   Producer
Gordon Kennedy   Composer
Mike Poole   Engineer
Craig Wiseman   Composer
Jed Hackett   Engineer
Glenn Spinner   Engineer
Steve Mandile   Composer
Chris Lindsey   Composer
Aimee Mayo   Composer
Rivers Rutherford   Composer
Shaye Smith   Composer
Carolyn Dawn Johnson   Composer
Astrid Herbold May   Art Direction
Jesse Amend   Engineer
Troy Verges   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Dress Rehearsal 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
CDJ is a major talent, and this album is really good. I love every song on it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've eagerly awaited Carolyn Dawn Johnson's latest album, and she sure doesn't disappoint. There are so many terrific songs on this album - CDJ is a great songwriter who can write songs that everyone can relate to in some way. Some of my favorites are "God Doesn't Make Mistakes", "Dress Rehearsal", and "Life As We Know It".
Guest More than 1 year ago
CDJ's first effort was virtually flawless from end to end, except for "Little Bit of This..". As much as I was greatly surprised and impressed with the first effort, this one has disappointed me in much the same way. The initial three songs lay a groundwork for a potential winner, but slowly we fall into songs that sound forced and marginally thought out. Not knowing the timeframe she had to complete this effort, this effort seems rushed, and it's lack of quality reflects that. Sorry, guys..I'm a big fan, but this just doesn't do her justice.