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Five For Fighting

Posted in MusicWorld on November 11, 2004

The follow up to a breakthrough record is never an easy task, but when that breakthrough comes behind a song that captures the world’s imagination and becomes an anthem for millions, many might find that challenge too much to bear. Not so for John Ondrasik and his band Five For Fighting who have followed the gigantic hit “Superman” with an album full of timeless songs that continue to stir the emotions of an ever-growing audience. 

The Battle For Everything has become more than the follow up to the smash America Town , it’s proof that Ondrasik is a singer/songwriter with real staying power. The evidence is all over Everything . There’s “100 Years,” the first single, a meditation on the poetry of time passing. But then there’s “The Taste,” whose delicate opening gets pulverized by slashing electric guitar and a raw, screaming vocal. A crocodile sings on “Disneyland,” loss and hope hover in the haunted melody of “If God Made You,” Heaven itself crashes and burns on “Infidel,” and on tunes like “The Devil in the Wishing Well” and “Nobody” turbulent lyrics and ambitious compositional structures unleashed panic back at the record label—for a minute, at least.

“When I was a kid I could put on Dark Side of the Moon , turn up the sound in my headphones, lie down in the dark, and go away,” Ondrasik remembers. “I wanted that experience again, and so I was ambitious to the point of absurdity. If I wanted drama, we got a thirty-piece orchestra. If we wanted a rock edge, we went after it with reckless abandonment. It was like doing my own private Quadrophenia .”

Months after the The Battle For Everything’s release both “100 Years” and “The Devil in the Wishing Well” have become radio hits. The record has been embraced by fans as another great work in the cannon of one of today’s finest singer/songwriters. and Ondrasik’s songs continue to inspire and spark imagination with their bristling mix of contemporary emotions and classic techniques.