Adeli’s Music Blog

Cause and Effect CD Review

Posted in music by adeli on November 27, 2007

In May 2007, I attended an off-Broadway show in New York City, and three guitarists performed beforehand. The first two guitarists-and the show for that matter-aren’t worth a mention, but the third performer definitely is. He came on stage with his guitar, a buddy on bass, and confidence. I didn’t buy his CD at the time, but after the show, the bartender was playing it. I listened for a while and thought, “I like this guy a lot more now.”

That guitarist was Jesse Johnson. Listening to his CD now, I can hear and feel his soulfulness once again. Cause and Effect is a well-crafted album; every song is worth repeated listens. This guy is funky. He can sing as sweetly and can play guitar and keys as well as those who have inspired him – Prince, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Benet.

Fine, Spread the Love and Blue give this album a very strong start. Johnson mixes R&B, rock, and funk seamlessly. Blue is the funkiest of the trio with extra bass guitar.

You and Me slows things down a bit. Begging for a second chance without any sappy lyrics, his falsetto voice-lead and background-is quite effective here. Higher and Thank You are also on the R&B, slower side of the spectrum. Gone and Empty are other tunes that stand out on Cause and Effect.

Except for a guest pianist on Gone, Johnson is the sole musician and vocalist on this album – a one-man show, like Prince. As producer, arranger, and composer of Cause and Effect, Johnson does an extraordinary job on this debut. A promising career is hopefully in the future for this young man of numerous talents.

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