As solo outlet for Carl Johns—leader of Wisconsin countryites NoahJohn—Charlemagne allows him the freedom to break the slow-shuffle shackles and explore pop. The headlong skip of "Dawn Upon" is typical, its happy quick-step framing a tale of a man tormented by moonlit visions of a lost love.

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Score 4

Product:

Charlemagne

As solo outlet for Carl Johns?leader of Wisconsin countryites NoahJohn?Charlemagne allows him the freedom to break the slow-shuffle shackles and explore pop. The headlong skip of “Dawn Upon” is typical, its happy quick-step framing a tale of a man tormented by moonlit visions of a lost love. “Two Steps Ahead”, with low-slung bass and ’60s handclaps, is similarly sprightly, as is the Byrds-lite strum of “How Could He?” Underneath the summer demeanour, though, lurks a weather-beaten heart?listen to the flickering pulse of epic closer “Portrait With No Shortage Of History”: lives soured by the taste of good times gone bad.