Two Lights

( 7 )

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
John Ondrasik wears his heart on his sleeve as proudly as any singer-songwriter around, a trait that's contributed greatly to his ability to draw listeners into his sonic world. The Californian has long demonstrated a flair for tapping into the American consciousness -- as evidenced by past hits like "Superman" and "100 Years" -- and he maintains that streak on Two Lights. Ondrasik and company focus on their strong suit -- namely stately piano ballads -- for much of the disc, alternating between lush offerings like "World" and light, ambling tunes like "The Riddle," a sweet ode to the bond between parent and child. The generally mellow tone sets in stark relief the ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
John Ondrasik wears his heart on his sleeve as proudly as any singer-songwriter around, a trait that's contributed greatly to his ability to draw listeners into his sonic world. The Californian has long demonstrated a flair for tapping into the American consciousness -- as evidenced by past hits like "Superman" and "100 Years" -- and he maintains that streak on Two Lights. Ondrasik and company focus on their strong suit -- namely stately piano ballads -- for much of the disc, alternating between lush offerings like "World" and light, ambling tunes like "The Riddle," a sweet ode to the bond between parent and child. The generally mellow tone sets in stark relief the disc's more muscular tunes, notably the slide guitar-laced "California Justice," emphasizing Ondrasik's sometimes overlooked ability to craft catchy folk-rock nuggets. As is the singer's wont, Two Lights is peppered with topical pieces, some of which -- like the title track, a narrative about a young man from a military family who ends up being shipped to Iraq -- are fairly rote. But the album-opening "Freedom Never Cries" packs a surprising punch, with imagery -- flags in pawn shop windows and the like -- that's unmistakably aimed at painting today's Washington paper-pushers in the least flattering light possible. That's a nice counterpoint to Ondrasik's normally kind and gentle approach, and those spoonfuls of something less sugary make Two Lights a surprisingly potent concoction.
All Music Guide - James Christopher Monger
Five for Fighting's John Ondrasik is a straight, clean, post-9/11 version of "Daniel"-era Elton John. He's got exquisite pipes, a knack for the big key changes, and a true star's sense of emotional entitlement that masks itself as introspection. If 2004's Battle for Everything saw a more assured and concise Five for Fighting reacting to its surprise success of 2001's "Superman" single, then 2006's Two Lights represents Ondrasik's complete transformation from somber troubadour into adult alternative mother-ship. With the now branded Five for Fighting, there is no hint of danger, no chance for controversy, and no way that at least half the record won't end up supplying brow-creasing melodramatic film moments and high school year-end slide shows with forced poignancy for years to come. It only takes a few minutes into the elegiac opening cut "Freedom Never Cries" to revisit the 9-11 angst/patriotism that won Ondrasik the majority of his initial public favor ("I only talk to God when somebody's about to die/I never cherished freedom/freedom never cries), a song he deftly follows with the super earnest and wistfully upbeat "World," and later "Riddle." From there it's a real hodgepodge, with detours into murderous Springsteen-esque road trips like "California Justice" and "65 Mustang." For the most part, Two Lights is a serious record about hard-working people in hard times -- only the jaunty "Johnny America" and the dumb but infectious "Policeman's Xmas Party" echo early press comparisons to the more whimsical sides of Ben Folds and Billy Joel -- but it's not saying anything that hasn't already been beaten into the masses since the confessional that used to house self-absorbed singer/songwriters became open to the public.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/1/2006
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 827969447123
  • Catalog Number: 94471

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Freedom Never Cries (4:22)
  2. 2 World (3:52)
  3. 3 California Justice (4:22)
  4. 4 The Riddle (3:49)
  5. 5 Two Lights (4:45)
  6. 6 '65 Mustang (4:22)
  7. 7 I Just Love You (4:02)
  8. 8 Policeman's Xmas Party (4:09)
  9. 9 Road to Heaven (5:36)
  10. 10 Johnny America (4:14)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Five for Fighting Primary Artist
Rob Arthur Keyboards
Luis Conte Percussion
Michael Ward Guitar
Bruce Watson Guitar
Joey Waronker Percussion, Drums
Andrew Williams Guitar
John Ondrasik Guitar, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals
Curt Schneider Bass, Guitar, Bass Guitar
Dave Palmer Keyboards
Technical Credits
David Campbell String Arrangements
Jim Grant Management
Stephen Marcussen Mastering
Mark Endert Producer
Stewart Whitmore Digital Editing
Andrew Williams Producer
David Bett Art Direction
Steve Byram Art Direction
John Ondrasik Composer, Producer, String Arrangements
Curt Schneider Producer, Engineer, Digital Editing, Audio Production
Mikal Blue Digital Editing
Jorge Del Barrio String Arrangements
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

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(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Little Late To The Party

    I bought this CD when new, but it took me awhile to finally listen to it. I'm surprised at the professional reviews. I found the whole work wonderful & thought provoking. The song Two Lights is unbelievably emotional & so topical. Because John is such a poetic writer the listener has the luxury of pondering over interpretations.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    One Thing Missing

    I wish "The Best" by John Ondrasik from the "Everyone's Hero" soundtrack was included in this latest CD by this awesome band

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Outstanding topical compilation

    As the primary reviewer noted, Two Lights is an excellent product. However, the reviewer notes, and I quote: "The album-opening 'Freedom Never Cries' packs a surprising punch, with imagery -- flags in pawn shop windows and the like -- that's unmistakably aimed at painting today's Washington paper-pushers in the least flattering light possible." Now, I don't know what song he was listening to when he wrote this review, but Freedom Never Cries is a song for the times - it's a song about freedom and how we often take it for granted until it's threatened by those who simply don't cherish it and who would rather see us harmed. I found it to be very positive and inspirational.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Really Great

    This is a really amazing album. I haven't heard one this great since James Blunt. I hope you all get a chance to hear this album. I especially love Track 7: I Just Love You, makes me feel so proud that dads can be so proud of their daughters.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Five for Fighting is awesome!

    I love this band! I heard his song "The Riddle" on VH1 and I loved it! His voice is so good! Go to VH1 and listen to the song and you'll be awestruck. This is a definite must buy! Support Five for Fighting!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews