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Posted November 10, 2006 by Mike Mineo in Features
 
 

Johnny Lloyd Rollins – Let’s Be Poor Together

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Think back to the days when each and every rock song written was a step forward in the undiscovered genre. The days of The Beatles, Elvis, and Johnny Cash, who are looked at fifty years later as utterly untouchable. Residing in Dallas, Texas, young songwriter Johnny Lloyd Rollins is beginning to catch the attention of many with his smooth and sincere musical style that complements the McCartneys and Presleys of the past, with heartbreaking melodies and lush arrangements that are layered with Rollins’ innocent vocals. I first discovered Rollins’ talent about a year ago, listening to a low-budget but very promising EP, which contained the now reworked ‘Let’s Be Poor Together’. I immediately recognized the skills of a songwriter who does not come around often in our times of power riffs and failed musical experimentation. Rollins’ lyrical foreplay is written in a meandering romantic tone, with genres mainly consisting of blues and traditional rock n’ roll. Rollins is also one of the most personable artists I’ve had the chance of talking to, making his music accessible to all while willing to share a story about each and every song, also recieving great reviews of his live performances. Rollins’ music has a respect for artists past and present, though his own originality is successfully vital. “Every period in music has a unique quality that defines it,” Rollins says, “I love the professionalism and purity of the singers from the ’30s and ’40s. Early rock ‘n’ roll in the ’50s had a great secret code of debauchery that was so cool. I listen to lots of genres of music from every decade.”

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Comparing Johnny Lloyd Rollins to one particular artist is pointless and impossible. It’s safe to say that Rollins’ grasp of musical style is impeccable, as almost every legendary rock artist has some sort of signature style that is relayed on Rollins’ debut full-length album, Let’s Be Poor Together. Despite the obvious influence from other artists, Rollins maintains his own unique style of frailty and often solemnly upbeat romance, such as the melodically soothing ‘Let’s Be Poor Together’. It’s one of those songs that girls would had thrown themselves at in the 60s, with vocal comparisons to Paul McCartney being unquestionable. The fantastic ‘Bi-Polar Bear Blues’ also takes a cue from McCartney, though the form here is more in the lush string arrangement and dramatic chorus that McCartney has been known to use more often in his recent years. The blues-inspired ‘Miss Sugar Blues’ shares Rollins’ more traditional roots, while ‘Target For Tonight’ is another example of Rollins’ ability to craft a hook, with keyboards and a guitar solo leading the charge this time. The album, based on Rollins’ simplistic style, is nearly flawless, making Let’s Be Poor Together is a gem. Rollins a young songwriter whose success should become overwhelming in the coming years.

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Johnny Lloyd Rollins – Target For Tonight

[audio:https://obscuresound.com/mp3/joh-tar.mp3]

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Johnny Lloyd Rollins – Let’s Be Poor Together

[audio:https://obscuresound.com/mp3/joh-let.mp3]

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Johnny Lloyd Rollins – Bi-Polar Bear Blues

[audio:https://obscuresound.com/mp3/joh-bip.mp3]

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Johnny Lloyd Rollins – Miss Sugar Pie

[audio:https://obscuresound.com/mp3/joh-mis.mp3]

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Mike Mineo

 
I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound. I used to write for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine. Send your music to [email protected].