Can You Fly
Freedy Johnston came from the Midwest to New York City looking to make his name as a singer-songwriter, selling off his grandfather’s Kansas farm to help finance the recording of his second album Can You Fly. He states as much in the album’s opening lines and throughout this poignant song cycle allusions are made to the costs of having such grandiose dreams. Johnston had the talent to back it up and the album received much critical applause upon its 1992 release, leading Freedy to a major-label recording contract. Can You Fly is a rich, compelling collection highlighted by strong instrumental backing from ex-Joe Jackson stalwart Graham Maby and guitarists Jimmy Lee and Kevin Salem. “Sincere” emerges as a powerful Stones-esque rocker, whereas “Tearing Down This Place,” “The Lucky One” and “Responsible” offer melodic and literate folk-rock. Syd Straw duets for the sadly downcast “Down In Love,” while Freedy mines his pop side (“In the New Sunshine”) and his country roots (“Remember Me”) to flesh out the full spectrum of his writing.