3 SINGLES REVIEW: My Fat Wallet, I Do, Fly a Black Flag - John Hampson
By: Cyrus Rhodes
Artist: John Hampson
Album/3 Singles: My Fat Wallet, I Do, Fly a Black Flag
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Alternative Rock, Pop
Sounds Like: Jason Mraz, Maroon 5, Eric Hutchinson, John Mayer
Weakness: 1 Winded Song
St. Johns, New York’s own Singer/Songwriter John Hampson best known as the writer and singer of the hit song 'Absolutely (Story of a Girl)' with his band "Ninedays" back in 2000, has just penned and released a poignant string of new songs – “My Fat Wallet”, “I Do” and Fly a Black Flag.
The Feature track “My Fat Wallet" kicks things off with driving rock rhythm, infectious vocal harmonies and accents, with a catchy chorus and clever thought provoking lyrical content. Citing a recent interview - "I find it ironic that we carry around these big, fat wallets, but usually without any cash in them. They are full of maxed out credit cards, useless ATM cards, but also keepsakes like pictures, concert tickets, etc. That whole idea kind of mirrors a darker current that is threading through our lives - the need to cast off the useless 'stuff' but hold onto the important things,' John said, 'The song is tongue in cheek, and meant to maybe be a bit subversive about the whole idea of the American Dream; it's not really working right now, is it?" Well played. Track 2 “I Do” serves up methodical intro meshed against a rock-steady vibe against well placed horn section and passionate vocal flow from Hampson. This coupled with upbeat lyrical content hooky grove and impressive finale make for an impressive statement all round. Track 3 shifts gears a bit “Fly a Black Flag” with a slow moving ballad that flows and ebbs it’s way though to emotional fruition with heartfelt vocals from Hampson. As these three tracks slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical influences reminiscent of Jason Mraz, Maroon 5, Eric Hutchinson and even John Mayer. His music itself is an upbeat blend of alternative rock, Pop and subtle hints of R&B. Besides the four piece standard you will also notice impressive vocal harmonies, a few guitar solos, impressive Hammond Organ chops, horns, slide guitar all built upon a thick as a brick rhythm foundation. The songs themselves are short and sweet musical experiences. Hampson is above the bar on all songs vocally and fills the sonic space peacefully and unobtrusively. He also showcases allot of emotional depth vocally. The writing, playing, and singing abilities of John Hopson and company are rock solid.
All songs over 3.5 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. One small recommendation: if Hopson is trying to make his mark as a singer/songwriter then he needs to maximize any opportunity available via his cover art to market himself rather than images and pictures. This is to maximize the one on one connection he is trying to establish as a singer/songwriter with a potential fanbase.
Overall these latest releases from John Hampson make their mark and leave a lasting impression upon the listener. Of all 3 I pick “I Do” as my personal favorite. The music is clean, goes down smooth, and the messages are passionate, upbeat, thought provoking and positive. At the end of the day – he’s just a fun artist to listen to, hang out with or check out live This release clearly proves he’s a marquee singer/songwriter from New York.