Johnny Monaco – “LA Vacation”
Sometimes Rock N Roll can be a tough business which doesn’t always give people the success they truly deserve. If it was due to talent and ability, then surely Johnny Monaco would be known and respected around the whole world. It is therefore a shame that he is most well known as being the singer for Enuff Z’nuff (a great band in its own right) but only when Donnie Vie decides he can’t be bothered any more. Let’s hope with this release, Johnny will get both the plaudits and sales he deserves.
The EP opens up with the title track “LA Vacation” which does indeed have a sound actually very similar to Enuff Z’nuff. It has the same element of being just an awesome pop/rock song. It’s just a great tune with a sound like a younger, American Elvis Costello. “Head In The Clouds” keeps things going along, but this time there is an almost futuristic/electronic feel to the underlying pop rock sound. It actually has a hint of Weezer about it in the chorus. The pop factor is turned up even higher with “Still Looking Forward To A Broken Heart”. Despite the somewhat downbeat title it still has a sunny and breezy feel to it.
In contrast, “Kings & Queens” turns the pop shine down again with a song which has a more complex feel to it. Importantly, it’s not at the expense of the tune and melody. Then “Talk 2 U Whenever” sees Johnny Monaco getting some of his frustrations out in the lyrics. Indeed it may well be a pop at some of the ‘characters’ he has had to deal with (and in particular in LA one would expect!). It’s still not an angst driven, down beat song though as the message is still wrapped up in a great melodic, power pop tune. The EP comes to a premature end with “On Our Own” which is more of a snippet of a full song. It’s perhaps just a taste that along with the upbeat pop, there could be some more acoustic based songs in his armour in the future.
In fact, the whole EP just leaves you wanting more. Anyone who is already a fan of Mr Monaco’s solo material or who has seen him performing live with Enuff Z’nuff will definitely want to buy this immediately. We can only hope that this will get him the exposure he deserves. Anyone who is a fan of pop/rock music through the ages from The Beatles, Elvis Costello, Cheap Trick through to Enuff should also definitely check it. Hopefully then Johnny Monaco will be recognised as the star he is!!