Not to be confused with the innovative jazz guitarist of the same (differently spelled) name, Jon McLaughlin is a young singer-songwriter with a knack for catchy pop songs and earnest sentiments. McLaughlin's debut album INDIANA, named after his home state, is packed with tunes that tackle love, loss, family, and friends with all the honesty and ardor of a young troubadour setting out to make his mark with nothing but a piano and some great pop hooks.
Opener "Industry," for example, details the artist's perseverance in the face of adversity, and wraps it all in a sunny, McCartneyesque melody. The soaring chorus of "Beautiful Disaster" almost belies the difficulty of the song's subject matter, but McLaughlin never compromises one for the other--this is accessible pop with lyrics from the heart about the heartland. INDIANA is a promising first effort from an artist who should appeal to both pop aficionados and singer-songwriter fans.