When I was given John Graham‘s Cold Sun for review, I was a little sceptical. Having been told John is better known by Quivver and that he’s made a living as an EDM DJ, I really had to trust my source, who has never let me down before, that this wasn’t an album of club music that I was being given to review. Cold Sun is definitely an album of alternative pop rock songs, it’s just a matter of just how well a DJ can rock.
There is a strong electronic element to John Graham‘s music on Cold Sun, as I expected. I’ve reviewed at least one other band that I can think of who used a lot of electronic elements into their style of rock and I can say right now that John does a better way of incorporating it, for the most part. I mean it’s obvious on songs like opening track All Fall Down and closing track Remarkable Things are the most electronic sounding songs on Cold Sun, and to get the negative out of the way, Dustpipe is annoyingly electronic. It’s not that it’s electronic that makes it annoying, it’s the chosen sound effects head over and over again that makes me want to skip the track.
The rest of Cold Sun sounds like an alternative pop rock album, with some electronic sounds that can easily be thought of as keyboards or genuine instruments. On some songs it seems obvious that the drums aren’t real, but all in all John Graham has some well written material. Much of it is on the softer, or more mellow side, most with a lot of acoustic guitars being played, like Revolution, Before Long and Pretty Dreams. His alternative influences come out in louder songs like Shake and the almost gothic sounding On Mondays. There is an evident influence of indie rock on all of these tracks, but especially on Something New and one of my personal favourites We Come & Go.
The diversity of Cold Sun did come as quite a shock, but that again is me judging a book by its cover. I should have, and now do give John Graham much more credit as a songwriter. His comfort zone of electronic music is all too apparent on all tracks, but he makes it work. I’d like to hear some more organic instruments next time around. I feel there is a modern new wave sound to his music that would attract many fans of 80s music. I’m particularly reminded of The Cure or early INXS. Regardless of what he sounds like, John Graham‘s Cold Sun ended up becoming a pleasant surprise.
“Roll The Dice” – It was the first song I listened to when deciding whether or not to review Cold Sun and it convinced me that I should give it a shot. It is one of the heavier songs on the album but all of the influences and sounds heard on the album are quite apparent in this one track, including the electronic element, and it’s just so catchy, making it an easy choice.
8 (Out of 10)
|1||All Fall Down||John Graham||4:43|
|2||Roll the Dice||John Graham||4:10|
|4||We Come & Go||John Graham||5:27|
|5||Before Long||John Graham||4:00|
|7||On Mondays||John Graham||5:32|
|8||Pretty Dreams||John Graham||3:55|
|9||Something New||John Graham||5:06|
|11||Only a Moment||John Graham||5:28|
|12||Remarkable Things||John Graham||4:12|