Mike Johnson

I Feel Alright

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"They say I should've known that I'd end up alone," ex-Dinosaur Jr. member Mike Johnson sings on the achingly beautiful and sarcastically titled I Feel Alright. It's a defeated and numb statement, but it's also the most typical sentiment found on Johnson's latest collection of melancholia, misery, and countrified blues. Singing with a basement baritone that immediately recalls Mark Lanegan, Johnson's songs come off as desperate juke-joint lovers' laments. Songs like "Turn Around," "One Liner," and "A Message to Pretty" are unnerving in their emotional honesty, and when silver-voiced Tiffany Anders joins him on the album's heartbreaking highlights, "I Don't Love You" and "I've Got to Have You," the effect is startlingly touching. Don't expect to find a pick-me-up on I Feel Alright, but for listeners who look to the bleakest musicians in their record collections when they're down and downtrodden, look no further than Mike Johnson.

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