John Otto Young - 'Anymore'
Review Written by Victoria Scott & Staff
“Anymore” by John Otto Young, featuring guitarist Keith Lebo, is a song about letting go when love doesn't feel good anymore. Subtle influences from "The Kinks" yield a smooth 70's rock vibe.
The upbeat track is tight and crisp, as John enters singing, "Used to feel like I was basking in the sun / Now I’m left out in the rain and it seems like I am always on the run." John's voice is laid-back and natural as he introduced each verse with a statement of how he used to feel and how he feels now. The song is honest and reflective, a journey of transitioning from past euphoria to a current reality.
As the song's arrangement unfolds, an instrumental break made up of two guitars playing a counterpoint melody takes center stage while supporting the vocals doubled in unison. The tasteful guitar solo during the break section, before the outro, is fantastic.
Life can be overwhelming, and some moments leave you discouraged. “Anymore” emulates the emotional experience of giving someone everything you have and getting nothing in return. “Gave you many / Gave you a lot / Gave you plenty / I gave you all I got / Used to feel like I was flying in the clouds / Now I’m crashin' in the dirt.”
The arrangement has a tight and upbeat rhythm, rather than a slow and somber rock beat, which gives the song a nice contrast between the somber meaning of the lyrics and the upbeat fun rock melody. This could have been a song that stewed itself in a minor key with a slow-beat, but John chose a major key with an uplifting vibe which invites listeners to let go and move forward.
In "Anymore" John Otto Young perfectly and purposefully mixes upbeat music with lyrics about throwing in the towel of a no-feel-good relationship and at the same time, he uplifts our spirits with great rock n' roll.
For more information on John Otto Young, please visit his website.
Listen on Spotify.
About John Otto Young
John Otto Young is a Connecticut keyboardist, musician, and songwriter who has been playing and recording in a number of projects over the last 6 decades. In 1989, he joined up with some friends to form the Center Street Band. While they also did some great cover music, they focused their efforts on songwriting and release two albums (both co-produced by John) in the mid 90’s, “Reason for Living”, and “Take You for a Ride”.
Since 2011, John has been the keyboardist with Howard Eldridge (former vocalist with Matt Guitar Murphy) and the Soul Potatoes, which also features 2016 BMA award nominee and Connecticut Blues Hall of Fame lifetime award inductee, Paul Gabriel. Along the way, he has had the pleasure and honor of sharing the stage with some great musicians, including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Hilton Valentine of the Animals, blues great Debbie Davies, and John Cafferty. With the Center Street Band, he opened for the Marshall Tucker Band, Blue Oyster Cult, Molly Hatchett, and God Street Wine.
Currently, John devotes most of his time to his music, including songwriting, recording, doing session work, and playing live with the Soul Potatoes and other acts. As he puts it, “The best part of what I do now is collaborating with others. It’s inspiring, and unlike myself, it never gets old”. Sunset Tour, released in May 2019, is John’s first solo album and represents a range of musical styles and influences that have infiltrated his brain for the last 60 plus years.