JOHN ELEFANTE – On My Way To The Sun (2013)
Besides of being part of Kansas’ eighties works and later in Melodic Rock wonders Mastedon, JOHN ELEFANTE had a consistent solo career releasing extremely well crafted albums.
He is the epitome of a complete musician: songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, taking the proper time between his works to elaborate lush melodies, original arrangements and fluid sounds.
After four years since the last solo recording, John Elefante is back with “On My Way To The Sun”.
The first thing listeners will notice is the classic sound that catapulted Kansas into the national spotlight over thirty years ago with opener “This Is How the Story Goes”, an 11 minute melodious progressive epic which guest stars Richard Williams and David Ragsdale, both former bandmates in Kansas.
A brave way to opening a CD nowadys, showing Elefante’s personality not caring about ‘the marketing’ as it’s the longest composition on the disc. And what a great one it is. During the course of the song you really feel the Kansas spirit and for those out there whishing the return of this great band era, this might be the closest thing that you might get.
As long the song develops (never boring and truly captivating), you realize the other excellent aspects of “On My Way To The Sun”. Over the years, John’s voice has definitely gotten better and stronger, his songwriting keeps you intrigued all the time, the arrangements are tight and sound is current – really a mix of the present and the past.
Additionally, production is first-rate, the kind of work that Elefante fans have grown accustomed to.
After this sumptuous opener, the balance of the album imprints classic John Elefante tunes mixing melodic rock moments with his trademark light progressive nuances – a trademark in his career.
Strong guitars and moving refrain drives “Where Have the Old Days Gone” and the harmony layered “Half the Way Home”, while the calmer “The Awakening” and “We All Fall Short” add acoustics to the proceedings, the latter with some strings in the mix.
The uptempo melodic rock pace of “All I Have To Do” and “Half the Way Home” (great vocals here) recalls his Mastedon work, and in title track “On My Way To the Sun” John incorporates modern elements to the skeleton of the track still retaining the man’s ’80s melodic focus.
“This Time” is the slower track (not a ballad) featuring again interestingly arranged strings in the background and thought-provoking lyrics. One of the highlights without a doubt.
Closer “Confess” is the Christian-themed song on the album, but if you aren’t religious this not distracts you from the charm of its musicality, floating melody and sweet harmony vocals.
“On My Way To The Sun” is a very good album from one of the most personal and distinctive musicians you can find around: John Elefante.
Blending his eleaborated progressive origins with his penchant for writing exhilarating melodic songs, Elefante drives you to a magical musical journey taking your senses back in time when ‘the song’ was the important thing, yet in a way that doesn’t sound dated.
He brings the best of the old and mixes it perfectly with the new. It is music as it’s meant to be; moving, captivating, telling stories that stir up your emotions and with an enviable musicality.
01 – This Is How The Story Goes
(feat. Rich Williams & David Ragsdale of Kansas)
02 – Where Have The Old Days Gone
03 – On My Way To The Sun
04 – All I Have To Do
05 – The Awakening
06 – Half The Way Home
07 – We All Fall Short
08 – Don’t Hide Away
09 – This Time
10 – Confess
John Elefante – Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Dave Cleveland – Guitars
JB McNeely – Bass
Matthew Pearson – Bass
Dan Needham – Drums
Sam Nicoletta – Keyboards
Eric Darkin – Percussion
Chris Carmichael – Strings
Rusty Posey, Dino Elefante – Backing Vocals
David Ragsdale (Kansas) – Violin
Rich Williams (Kansas) – Guitar
BUY IT !