In the same way musicians like Frank Turner, Chuck Ragan and John Doe before them have all opted to unplug and go full acoustic to exercise their punk rock ghosts, Germany’s John Allen is just the latest in a growing crowd of tattooed sensitive singer/songwriters. But unlike many of those trying to catch up to the speeding bandwagon, Allen actually has the songs and talent to back up his membership in the club.
Sophomore, his second album (funny how that worked out), is brimming with personal tunes that manage to resonate way beyond just the guy singing them. While the 10 tracks here are mostly solid, there are one or two exceptions, like the plodding “Springtime,” but the highpoints, (like album opener “New Year’s Eve”) more than make up for any weaker spots.
In an increasingly crowded subgenre, it’s great to uncover those who are making solid contributions to the music rather than dragging it down. (John B. Moore)