Colorado-based Johnson has been threatening to break the mellow rock-A/C market open for years, and he'll probably do just that with Home Free. Swelling strings and floating harmonies augment his simple, acoustic guitar-oriented love songs and he should really hit home with the 24-35 female demographic this time around. He's already a favorite in the midwest, and fans of Christopher Cross and Steven Bishop should jump on this album and give singer-songwriter Johnson a strong national base.
Recording: Very Good
Michael Johnson has an agreeable down-home voice and singing style and a taste for ballads that praise the joys of simple domesticity over the dubious appeal of adventure. In "I Can't Get To You From Here", for example, he describes himself to a woman out of his past as a "daddy and a voter" who can't be expected to wreck his whole settled life just to see her again. A wholesome, comfortable attitude. Then there's "Home Free" itself, which doesn't have the most memorable lyrics but which comes across when Johnson sings it as a touching tribute to hearth, home, and loved ones. Finally, ending a program as comfortable and cozy as an old pair of bedroom slippers, there's "Let Me Go Back Home", which kind of sums it all up. Not for rebels.