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Forever Hasn't Happened Yet
     

Forever Hasn't Happened Yet

4.0 1
by John Doe
 
In his notes for his latest solo album, John Doe describes the music within as "not for the faint of heart" -- a tag that refers less to the overall sound (which evokes an affably messy gin-joint hootenanny) as to the tone of the material. Much of Forever Hasn't Happened Yet calls to mind the stark black-and-white set pieces of Doe's Angeleno forebears --

Overview

In his notes for his latest solo album, John Doe describes the music within as "not for the faint of heart" -- a tag that refers less to the overall sound (which evokes an affably messy gin-joint hootenanny) as to the tone of the material. Much of Forever Hasn't Happened Yet calls to mind the stark black-and-white set pieces of Doe's Angeleno forebears -- Raymond Chandler comes to mind, as does John Fante -- particularly the stark, foreboding opener, "The Losing Kind." The disc's dozen tunes are, by and large, stripped as bare as can be, to the point where additions like the vocal harmonies of Grant-Lee Phillips (who chimes in on the deceptively lulling "Twin Brother") seem almost startling. Doe is abetted by several kindred spirits here, from Neko Case, who duets on "Hwy 5" (a song co-written by Doe's real-world ex, Exene Cervenka), to his teenage daughter, Veronica Jane, who plays vocal foil on the Smokey Mountain–redolent "Mama Don't." Sometimes there's beauty in the darkest corners of life, and while it takes time and tenacity to coax it out, John Doe seems to have enough of both to bring forth a bounty.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Since John Doe left active duty with X, he's released a series of solo albums that, in a variety of different ways, have drawn many listeners to the same conclusion -- he's still a superb singer and a strong songwriter, but there's just something missing from his work on his own, which lacks the force and resonance of his music with X. It isn't necessarily tied to the fact that he doesn't rock as hard, given how powerful his work was with X's acoustic side project, the Knitters, and it shouldn't be a matter of not having good collaborators, as Doe's 2005 solo set, Forever Hasn't Happened Yet, boasts an impressive set of talented guests. Longtime colleague Dave Alvin adds guitar and vocals to three cuts, Neko Case contributes a strong and sexy backing vocal on "Hwy. 5" (co-written with Exene Cervenka, and not coincidentally the most X-like song on board), Grant Lee Phillips lends splendid harmonies to "Twin Brother," the criminally underappreciated Cindy Lee Berryhill shines on two songs, and Kristin Hersh sounds like a force of nature on "Ready." Doe himself sings beautifully throughout, and there are a few top-shelf songs here, especially the evocative "Twin Brother," the graceful "Your Parade," and the bitter charge through "Ready." But ultimately, too much of Forever Hasn't Happened Yet is made up of songs that don't quite hit their target, either musically or emotionally; it's full of fine moments, but doesn't cohere into a solid whole, though most of it is good enough to keep hope alive that Doe will bat 1.000 next time he heads into the studio.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/22/2005
Label:
Yep Roc Records
UPC:
0634457209220
catalogNumber:
2092
Rank:
145023

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

John Doe   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Slide Guitar
Cindy Lee Berryhill   Vocals
Dave Alvin   Guitar
Kristin Hersh   Vocals
Stuart Johnson   Percussion,Drums
Jamie Muhoberac   Organ,Piano,Melodica
Grant-Lee Phillips   Guitar,Vocals
Smokey Hormel   Guitar
Don Bonebrake   Vibes
Neko Case   Vocals
Dave Way   Strings,Tambourine
David J. Carpenter   Electric Bass,Bass Guitar,Double Bass,String Bass
Veronica Jane   Vocals

Technical Credits

Exene Cervenka   Composer
John Doe   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Kristin Hersh   Producer
Evan Stone   Composer
Dave Way   Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
David J. Carpenter   Composer
Gregory Page   Composer

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Forever Hasn't Happened Yet 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
From the torn harmonies of his work with X to his turn as a nepotistically employed bartender in the film "Roadhouse," Doe's iconic image has always threatened to overshadow his role as a working musician. That's probably unfair, given his lengthy pedigree with X and as a solo artist, but such is the strength of his personal imagery. This new release does a good job of both reinforcing and dispelling this lopsided view, providing a look at the tremendous craft he puts into his music, while at the same time creating a new image of John Doe as, well, a consummate craftsman. ¶ For this outing Doe brings his bluesy roots to the fore, with the Doors-styled "The Losing Kind" and down-tempo "Worried Brow." In addition there's confessional folk/country ("Twin Brother" "She's Not"), pop ("Mama Don't" "Your Parade"), and some modern sounds ("Hwy. 5" with Neko Case, and the thrashier "Ready." Pitching in is a who's who of Doe's musical coterie, including Dave Alvin, Grant Lee Phillips, Cindy Lee Berryhill, Kristen Hersh, Smokey Hormel and Doe's 16-year-old daughter, Veronica Jane.