LOS ANGELES - Former American Idol contestant Michael Johns bears his soul and casts away the Idol shadow as he's finally released his highly anticipated single, Heart On My Sleeve from his debut album today on iTunes and Amazon and it's one that's surely going to be a respected work of art.
It's been about a year since Michael Johns hit the American Idol stage and won audiences all over with his amazing performances, week after week. His choices on the show and infectious personality soon enough made him a fan favourite and garnered him much acclaim but since then his fans have been waiting on edge for new material since his much abrupt and controversial elimination last year.
But the wait is now over as the singer/songwriter is gearing up for a debut album titled Hold Back My Heart releasing June 23th and the first single off that record releases today on iTunes and Amazon.
The track, Heart On My Sleeve was written by the amazing singer/songwriter, James Morrison who Johns has mentioned is someone he greatly admires and respects in the business along with the brilliant mastermind, John Shanks whose producing and songwriting have attributed to the current successes achieved from Bon Jovi, Keith Urban, Kelly Clarkson and Jessica Simpson just to name a few. Heart On My Sleeve which is a soulful and tender, almost haunting stripped down love song is just one of the two of the twelve tracks on his record which are not co-written by Johns.
The debut single starts off with a very soft and tender, stripped down Johns expressing his vulnerability with genuine vocals and a delicate piano in the background. As the song builds up, so does the arrangement. In the background various other instruments are added to compliment the heartfelt emotion which Johns has great control over and he proves that he owns the song. It's all very complimentary and the listener gets quite engulfed in the track.
It almost seems like Johns is pouring out every emotion and feeling he's ever experienced in his life into his music and that's actually the beauty of a Michael Johns song. No matter what he's sung, you can sense a great connection to it and that makes it all the more convincing.
The single which is being released through TRP Records and distributed by Downtown Records/Fontana is already a sure-fire hit with fans as thirty second samples released weeks before the single's release date to USA Today and Amazon and kept fans extremely eager on their toes.
The album, Hold Back My Heart is something Johns is most proud of and describes his album's feel to Nadine of The Zaz at National Lampoon earlier Monday afternoon in a radio interview:
"The record really is a throwback - I mean it's like a Joe Cocker meets Otis Redding kinda record and a lot of fun stuff but it's all - it's just a real throwback sound and kind of like you know, just one of those natural sounding I've ever had out coming out of my voice."
During the time of Idol and putting together the debut album, Johns was quite the busybody as he recorded a song called Another Christmas, donating all the proceeds to ALS and the Red Cross while co-writing the soundtrack to the much acclaimed Olympic Gold Medalist Shaun White's documentary Don't Look Down: The Height of Competition with music partners Jeff Foxworth and Rye Randa (which is currently available on iTunes). Johns has also garnered the attention of famed music producer and writer David Foster as he invited the up and coming artist to his PBS Special, Hit Man: David Foster and Friends and various other charity events.
With the company Johns is keeping, he's most likely to make quite a splash on the music scene. Not only did Johns work on his debut album with Dave Cobb, who co-wrote and produced Hold Back My Heart but as well as working with famed producer and songwriter John Shanks. Shanks is just one of the most respected and hottest producers working today as he's written and produced twelve #1 singles, eighteen #1 albums and sold over 50 million albums to date in the genres of rock, pop and country. To artists in the industry, his work is considered the Midas touch and for Michael Johns to be working with him is more than just a highlight so early on his career – it's an experience in its own right.
Shanks worked on the track Precious Love with singer/songwriter James Morrison for his album Songs For You, Truths For Me which ultimately led to a nomination for the already award winning artist earlier this year at the Brit Awards in the Best Brit Solo Artist category. In addition, Shanks' work with Take That who took home two Brit Awards for their album Beautiful World back in 2007, Miley Cyrus who's current hit The Climb for the Hannah Montana: The Movie is already climbing the charts and Bon Jovi's success with Lost Highway brings a thought to mind: Michael Johns could just as well have this success.
And yet again, we wait.
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