John M.

Part of the Game

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A stronger effort than John M's 1994 release Still Here, Part of the Game indicated that the Nashville resident was someone to keep an eye on. Part of the Game isn't all that different from its predecessor -- John M (the M is for Mollenhauer) still specialized in a rootsy, unpretentious style of rock and pop/rock along the lines of Bryan Adams, Tom Petty and John Cougar Mellencamp. The thing that makes Part of the Game (which John M wrote, produced and arranged himself) a step forward for him is the fact that he seemed to be growing as both a vocalist and songwriter. "Not This Time," "Auf Weidersehen" and the amusing "Packard Bell Hell" aren't brilliant or earth-shattering, but they're likable, honest examples of what had come to be called Americana. Imperfect but decent, Part of the Game makes you want to follow his career and see how it develops.

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