JOHN FARNHAM – The Acoustic Chapel Sessions (2011)

JOHN FARNHAM - The Acoustic Chapel Sessions (2011)


Australian AOR legend John Farnham is releasing a new CD; “The Acoustic Chapel Sessions”, recorded in Melbourne in July 2011 at Chapel Off Chapel.
The CD consists of 11 John’s classic songs from 1984 to 1996, redone in acoustic mode but with some little electrics as well.

“The Acoustic Chapel Sessions” has been released in celebration of the 25th Anniversary of ‘Whispering Jack’, John’s smash hit album of 1986.
Back in his heyday, John Farnham decided against going to the US to seek his fame and fortune and opted to stay in Australia and tour there instead. That said, he has had Number One hits and Top 10 hits in other countries.

At 60+ year old, careers don’t blossom, they fade.
Not Farnham’s voice though !
This man could out-sing any 20 year old you put in front of him. His power is just phenomenal.
This acoustic album sees John retread 11 classic hits, so at least the song quality missing over his last few albums is guaranteed.

The first highlight off the CD for me is “Pressure Down”, in a version even better (or at least equal in quality) than the original version.
“Chain Reaction” kicks the album into high gear, followed by killer takes of “That’s Freedom” and “Talk Of The Town” sparkled with energy and refreshed enthusiasm.
Of course the stainless classic “You’re The Voice” is featured here, performed with class and elegance.
I also love “Two Strong Hearts”, where the backing vocals go so well with John’s voice. The acoustic version of “A Simple Life” also sounds terrific, whilst “Hearts On Fire” has a charming new approach.
Throw in a couple of sultry tunes like the timeless brilliance of “Age Of Reason” and the soulful “Simple Life” and the balance between acoustic ambience and electricity was reached.
All are truly great, but the real surprise for me, and definitively one of the most fantastic tracks here is the acoustic version of “Playing To Win”. This Classic keyboard driven AOR tune originally recorded with Little River Band in 1984, sounds marvelous without its synth and electric guitars, very well arranged for this stripped version. A great song is always a great song…

On “The Acoustic Chapel Sessions”, John Farnham sounds amazing.
The simple, stripped back format allows his voice to shine and blaze through these great, terrific classic songs. Amazing voice still to this day.
This is more than a worthy addition to any John Farnham fans’ collections, and for those that enjoy high quality music.
Newbies might even be impressed enough to delve back into Farnham’s career for some classy AOR gems.
Highly Recommended.

01 – Pressure Down
02 – Reasons
03 – Chain Reaction
04 – Playing to Win
05 – You’re the Voice
06 – That’s Freedom
07 – Two Strong Hearts
08 – Age of Reason
09 – Talk of the Town
10 – A Simple Life
11 – Hearts on Fire


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