Will Johnson – Scorpion [album review]

by Woody on November 26, 2012

I’ve always considered Centro-Matic and Will Johnson to be a barometer of cool. Anybody that liked Centro-Matic, South San Gabriel or Will Johnson was cool. Other examples for me include The Mother Hips, A.A. Bondy and Sleater-Kinney. Here’s an example of how a conversation would play out:

Woody – “Did you hear that Will Johnson is touring with Monsters of Folk?”

Random Person – “Yeah, that’s awesome. Love Centro-Matic.”

That person is immediately deemed cool. And while I am not super-cool enough to break down their catalogs, there is something about Johnson’s weathered and raw voice that strikes a nerve every time. There are many genuine voices in music but few rival Will Johnson’s.

I meant to review that this back in September when it came out but I couldn’t find the right words. In reality, I still haven’t found them but if this poorly worded review can turn one person on to Will or Centro-matic; well then my job here is done. Scorpion is a sparse and personal affair that sinks its teeth in and doesn’t let go. Johnson meant for it be an album that grows on you and let me tell you, it most certainly does. I love listening to it when walking the dog on a cold fall morning. Something about it just feels right as the sun fights to poke its head out.

The opening track, You Will Be Here, Mine is a real treat and the accompanying video is genius. My favorite track is It Goes Away So Fast. The only thing better than Johnson singing is Will Johnson harmonizing with himself while distorted guitar squeals. This album isn’t one to listen when getting ready for the game or spinning. For a long walk in nature; preferably a grey, introspective morning – you’d be hard pressed to find a better album for such a setting.

Will Johnson – You Will Be Here, Mine by Indiespot

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