Perfection Hasn’t Happened Yet
Newest album Forever Hasnâ€šÃ„Ã´t Happened Yet is on the opposite end of the musical spectrum from where singer/songwriter John Doe originated with his previous punk band, X. Whereas his roots were hard, fast, and energetic, this solo effort has more of a mellow sound, mostly acoustic and very quirky.The album, on a whole, has a southern jazz-blues-folk sound. The first track, â€šÃ„ÃºLosing Kindâ€šÃ„Ã¹ opens the album with a Johnny Cash-like quality and vocals that sound much like Scott Weiland. â€šÃ„ÃºWorried Browâ€šÃ„Ã¹ is the other blues song with a twang-y country edge. Doeâ€šÃ„Ã´s other influences creep into songs like â€šÃ„ÃºHeartlessâ€šÃ„Ã¹ which has a punk style unison guitar and bass line, and â€šÃ„ÃºHwy 5â€šÃ„Ã¹ which has an out of place electronic drumbeat. It is incongruous as it is the only truly electronic component of the album and sounds too harsh juxtaposed with the rest of the music, especially â€šÃ„ÃºTwin Brotherâ€šÃ„Ã¹ which is acoustic and rather slow (a bit too dry to be placed in the beginning of the album). The most refined, radio-ready, and accessible song on the CD is â€šÃ„ÃºMama Donâ€šÃ„Ã´t,â€šÃ„Ã¹ a happy-go-lucky love song with all of the musical texture of a seasoned veteran in the music writing world.
The most interesting aspect of the record is all of the guest appearances. Doe works with backup musicians on nearly every song on the album. They range from Dave Alvin and Grant Lee Phillips, his daughter Veronica Jane, Neko Case, Cindy Lee Berryhill, Kristin Hersh, and Smoky Hormel. These players aid Doe in the patina of Forever; their talents lend a much needed hand in making this something that the public can identify with.