Release Date: Oct 12, 2018
Record label: K Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Pop, Dance-Rock
As the leader of the International Pop Underground and avowed foe of the Corporate Ogre, Calvin Johnson has spent nearly his entire career avoiding the mainstream of rock music, and even when he or his K Records label have crossed paths with acts with wide visibility (most notably producing and releasing Beck's 1994 acoustic effort, One Foot in the Grave), they've done so on their own terms, with little regard to commercial potential. So what is Johnson doing making a dance-rock album with one of the Black Keys and a teen pop star of the new millennium? Released in 2018, A Wonderful Beast was created in collaboration with Patrick Carney, who co-wrote the songs and plays most of the instruments, while Johnson handles lead vocals, guitar, melodica, and keyboards and Michelle Branch (yes, of "Everywhere" fame) chimes in with backing vocals. The results meld muscular grooves and dance-friendly electronic accents with sharp guitars, keyboards that alternately run with and against the melodies, and Johnson's deep craggy vocals.