John Doe - Forever Hasn't Happened Yet (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

John Doe

Forever Hasn't Happened Yet (2005)

Yep Roc

For those of you not familiar with John Doe, he was the bassist and fellow lead singer (along with, of course, Exene Cervenka) for leading late 70's / early 80's L.A. punk band X. He has also, since the end of X's recording career (they still tour), released many solo albums, which for the most part are much less "punk rock" than X, but no less powerful. I may be flamed for saying this, but John Doe's incredibly unique and beautiful voice has no equal, past or present. The only vocalists that can come close are perhaps Jim Morrison and Roy Orbison. And his latest effort, Forever Hasn't Happend Yet, is in my opinion his best and most focused work to date. His songwriting is sharp and poetic; each of these songs will be lodged in your head for weeks.

The opening track, "The Losing Kind," is one of the best on the record, bearing some similarities to the classic Doors song "People Are Strange," but with an intensity and honesty that is purely John Doe. "Hwy 5" is a beautiful, almost funky, X-like duet (happening to be co-written by Exene Cervenka) with the wonderful Neko Case contributing vocals. "Ready" is the most "rockin'" tune on the record, featuring an aggressive, driving rythym and Throwing Muses vocalist Kristin Hersh on backing vocals; Doe almost bears a vocal similarity to Joe Strummer on this song. "She's Not" is a very melancholy, beautifully sung acoustic tune; it's another standout track. Other album collaboraters include Cindy Lee Berryhill, Dave Alvin, and Grant Lee Philips.

This is easily one of the best and strongest albums of the year thus far; it should not be passed up by any of you, especially fans of the Doors or X.