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Crossover Prog • United States

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Johnny Unicorn biography
US artist Johnny UNICORN started his solo career in 2006 with "Dates Or Non​-​Dates", and following his initial foray into the world of recording artists a steady stream of productions have followed: "Riversongs" in 2007, "Put Your Mind Inside My Mouth" in 2008, "Sweet Edith Manton" in 2010, "Thinking Hard To Overcome Nervousness" in 2011 and his most recent production "Sadness And Companionship" in 2013. His self-described aim is to "create as many kinds of music possible". Besides being a productive solo artist, Johnny Unicorn also records and performs music as a part of US artist Phideaux's band.

Johnny Unicorn official website

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JOHNNY UNICORN discography

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JOHNNY UNICORN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Dates Or Non-Dates
3.00 | 1 ratings
3.05 | 2 ratings
Put Your Mind Inside My Mouth
2.10 | 2 ratings
Sweet Edith Manton
3.33 | 3 ratings
Thinking Hard To Overcome Nervousness
3.88 | 7 ratings
Sadness And Companionship
4.00 | 1 ratings
Angels in the Oort Cloud

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Sweet Edith Manton by UNICORN, JOHNNY album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.10 | 2 ratings

Sweet Edith Manton
Johnny Unicorn Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars Johnny Unicorn would come to the forefront again in 2010, after working in a couple of singles with Phideaux and becoming involved in Autumn Electric.His new album, titled ''Sweet Edith Manton'' was launched in July with Unicorn singing all lyrics and handling all instruments except for the drum parts, performed by Jason Campbell.The album was freely downloadable on bandcamp, but there is a good bunch of self-produced CD around as well.

Front cover is the best thing this album has to offer I am afraid, because Unicorn has made a turn from the quirky keyboard experiments of his previous work to a much more accesible sound on ''Sweet Edith Manton'', this effort still keeps a nice dose of the man's naughty instrumental work, but overall sounds closer to Pop Rock/Indie Rock.Most tracks are very short with this typical, contemporary American Rock stylings, heading mostly for an audience of teenagers, executed on guitars, piano, synths with a little bit of sax, while even Unicorn's vocal distortions sound kind of dull in such a musical background.Rhythmic and pleasant music with synth layers and unpolished guitars, but without much of a progressive flavor left for those seeking such a sound.''The last day'' should be the one to choose as the most proggy piece, featuring a developing groove, transforming into some kind of KING CRIMSON-esque guitar fest and containing some tricky sax tunes.''Edith Manton'' closes the album with a surprising way after so many short pieces, this one clocks at about 16 minutes.But it's overall sound is pretty confusing with Unicorn insisting on playing under an Indie Rock umbrella with irritating vocals and rough-edged guitars, the next moment starting to exhibit on symphonic or jazzy water with keyboards and sax in evidence.Not very memorable of an attempt, Unicorn is such a talented guy, but the segments on this piece are so unrelated to rise as an appreciated composition.

Far less interesting work than the more experimental and convincing ''Put your mind inside my mouth''.Too poppy for prog fans, too prog for Pop fans.And that's its biggest disadvantage...ending up to be a directionless album.

 Sadness And Companionship by UNICORN, JOHNNY album cover Studio Album, 2013
3.88 | 7 ratings

Sadness And Companionship
Johnny Unicorn Crossover Prog

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars US composer and musician Johnny Unicorn is perhaps best known for being one of the keyboard players in the backing band of US artist Phideaux. But he's actually an established solo artist too, and released his first album back in 2006. Since then five more studio albums have seen the light of day, of which "Sadness and Companionship" from 2013 is the most recent. Like all his CDs so far this is a self released production.

UK magazine Classic Rock presents Prog used to have a section called "It's Prog, Jim, but not as we know it", and Johnny Unicorn's "Sadness and Companionship" sounds like a perfect candidate for this column. This is an album that plays and fools around with conceptions, conventions and boundaries in a playful and humorous manner throughout. A likely key audience are those who enjoy accessible progressive rock alongside artists such as The Buggles and Madness, and first and foremost those among them that have a keen and broad sense of humor that includes progressive rock as a topic.

 Put Your Mind Inside My Mouth by UNICORN, JOHNNY album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.05 | 2 ratings

Put Your Mind Inside My Mouth
Johnny Unicorn Crossover Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Originating from West Michigan, US, Johnny Unicorn is a talented multi-instrumentalist, composer and singer, who started his career back in 2006 from Seattle, recording two albums, ''Dates or non​-​dates'' and ''Riversongs'' a year later.It was about the same time he started collaborating with Phideaux Xavier's regular project Phideaux, playing as a guest musician on ''Doomsday afternoon''.In 2008 Unicorn released his third album ''Put your mind inside my mouth'', the first time he collaborated with another person in a solo album of his own, and that was Audri the Great on spoken parts.

Unicorn's work is pretty bizzare.It sounds like a Progressive Rock album partly built around programmed instruments, sound effects and Electronics with little help from natural instruments, like the piano, various keyboards and the saxophone.The album consists of two long tracks, over 16 minutes each, split to each other by a single minute of silence.The final result is a quirky, ultra-modern Prog/Art Rock in the vein of THE RASCAL REPORTERS with a bit of GENTLE GIANT and E.L.P. flourishes in the keyboard parts, mainly instrumental with little contribution by vocals, still very complex at moments and full of irritating electronics and keyboard acrobatics.The occasional piano interludes have obvious Classical references and the few sax lines add a nice and fresh air to the digital music.Unicorn's overall performance sounds often outstanding, delivering plenty of breaks and complicated themes with fast playing, but the programmed instrumentation along with the annoying drum machine prevent a full appreciation of his music.Even this way in plenty of his passages there is a strong love for the 70's pinpointed, with semi-symphonic keyboard textures and good, dramatic instrumental plays, that would have sounded really better if performed by a regular band.

One of the most unique albums around, very hard to be defined.No excess, this whole listening experience seems like it has been entirely performed by a computer, but to my ears, even with its cheap sound, it sounds very charming and interesting.Recommended.

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

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