Nice things they’ve said about John Shipe:
On Villain, Shipe has never been more witty, more accessible, and unrestrained. His audacity is refreshing, amidst a trove of pop-garbage polluting the air waves…
Ehren Ebbage, at the production helm… on “Love belongs to Everyone,” results in a grandiose, passionate rock anthem… Germany embraced it at No. 1 on Radio Marabu Hot Rotation, placing it in the company of Radiohead and R.E.M.
For anyone who is going through relationship woes… this album provides good therapy… Which is why I say, with not an ounce of hesitation, that “Villain” is hands down among the top 10 releases of 2011.
Do yourself a favor. Pick up a copy of “Villain” and enjoy the world of Shipe. —Andrew Fickes (Northwest Indie Music: Best of 2011)
“Villain displays a story-teller’s flair and pleasing voice that calls to mind Paul Simon and Elvis Costello. …a sense of wit that will appeal to fans of Lyle Lovett and Randy Newman.
“Another Disaster” (is) an incredibly catchy pop song. The comparisons to Costello are never stronger… and never more well-deserved. You’ll be hearing this one in your head…
“No Use Crying Over A Spilt Life” blends apt, intelligent, lyrical prose with a thoughtful arrangement….This might be Shipe’s finest songwriting to date.
Shipe mixes cynicism and hope in unlikely measures while invoking thoughts of Paul Simon, Randy Newman, Lyle Lovett and Elvis Costello. The album is more than the sum of its parts. (Shipe) possesses a quiet cult of personality that raises his performances to sublime… This is one Villain that will grow on you. —Wildy’s World
…timeless… Shipe’s voice is as stark and straightforward as his lyrics… taking strength from their avoidance of punch-pulling. These are compositions that can initially sound light, even playful, but also reserve the ability to chill to the bone…. you’ll want to settle in for multiple listens to make sure you take it all in. –Brad (CD Baby)
“If you are hankering for mid-period Elvis Costello with a fresh lick of paint then ‘Villain’ is the album for you… his brittle voice delivers cutting asides as astutely as Costello in his prime. Yet, like Costello, he can sound vulnerable and desperate the next moment…
…catchy songs with the kind of lyrics in which the battered yet never outwitted underdog gets his revenge in the end…
…a vibrant range of musical influences… from Burt Bacharach strings… to shamelessly Country style lap steel guitar… Shipe resides over an entertaining variety show of styles held together by his distinctive voice…
…consummate entertainer, Shipe knows how to glue your ears to the speakers. ‘Villain’ is easy to listen to and contains some great lines.” —Tuneraker
“…you will undoubtedly fall into the velvet embrace of John Shipe’s Villain. …hitting his stride on this lush collection of highly descriptive tales of love and woe. The highlight is the stunning ‘Hard to Believe,’ …but there will be undoubted debate about which effort truly stands out. ‘Love Belong to Everyone’ is a warm, luxurious effort … The bouncy ‘Another Disaster’ stands in contrast to more somber and wrenching “No Use Crying Over a Spilt Life”, but the two make a tremendous one-two combination… The latter is particularly cutting… The entire disc resonates with an intimacy through the production skills of Ehren Ebbage. John Hiatt and Jeff Buckley fans will instantly gravitate to this, particularly the witty and intelligent lyrical play of ‘What Right Do We Have to Fall in Love?’ and the powerful piano ballad ‘Dead Kite’. This is atmospherically beautiful and harmonically sensual; a rich combination of musical dexterity and lyrical erudition. This is a striking record worthy of immediate attention.” –Rich Quinlan (The Quinlan Chronicles, JerseyBeat.com)
“Anyone who looks at the front of John Shipe’s Villain (out now) and decides not to take (him) seriously would be making a mistake. Shipe shows a knack for clever lyrics, and he has a warm, pleasant vocal delivery that’s reminiscent of Michael Penn.” –Chris M. Junior (Medleyville)
“One of the very most beautiful songs on Villain is ‘Hard to Believe,’ which John Shipe delivers as a duet with singer Halie Loren. This song reminds you of the best work by Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra, and it absolutely deserves a place in the Golden Book of Famous Duet Classics.
…John Shipe once again evolves for the better as a musician. We hear more pure Americana songs and a wider assortment of music styles…
….the towering qualities of Shipe as a singer songwriter, earning him a place in the gallery of giants next to John Rouse or Josh Ritter.” (Rootstime)
“Excellent… a total winner. This is unique. Viva La Shipe!” –Lord Litter (Radio Marabu, Gemany)
“… all these good songs on all these catching melodies….the Frenchie is knocked down… …high sense of quality , of integrity… It is beyond words.” –Mike Penard (ISA Radio France)
“Warm melody, moody/inspirational lyrics, and one of the best voices you’ve probably never heard makes ‘Love Belongs To Everyone’ an instant favorite. (A Media Mindset)
“…pursuing an idiosyncratic folk sound. He’s a remarkable vocalist and songsmith. His melodic structures have a good deal in common with fellow folkies like Edwin McCain, but he often breaks away from the mold long enough to indulge in almost early prog moments Without a doubt, he’s an interesting figure with a unique take on modern folk-rock.” (Performing Songwriter Magazine)
“8 out of 10. Superior quirky pop with an oddball assortment of tales… off-beat humour… Shipe himself has a warm, engaging and at times childlike quality to his singing. Likewise his writing appears at times naïve with the innocence of the nursery. He surrounds his lyrics with a tapestry of music that sounds both complex and simple referencing the Beatles, California harmonies, Nilsson melodies and psychedelic pop… a multitude of delights to be found here… ‘Just in Time’ (an almost perfect song) shimmers like a summer haze. ‘Little Bird’ piles layers of acoustic guitar into a mesmerising web of sound… When the likes of the goofy country song ‘Honky Tonk Romans’ or the crunchy pop of ‘Promises’ kick in Shipe proves that he is a more than capable writer and performer and one who can raise a smile as well as the listener’s spirits.” —Paul Kerr (Americana UK)
“…saunters through rock, pop and storytelling… throws everything but the kitchen sink into the mix… no less than 6 instruments he plays himself… While one may expect that to muddy the listen, it has the opposite effect: The tracks become more engaging, interesting and urgent… holds together well, primarily on the strength of Shipe’s songwriting… a solid example of what heartfelt, DIY indie rock can be. Good songs competently recorded—it’s more than you get from most majors these days.–Chris La Tray (Missoula Independent)
“John Shipe has a lyric style that’s both acidic and sharp, but tempered by some strong melodies. …astonishing title track… He recalls the young, caustic Elvis Costello and that’s a rare feat…. Shipe’s vocals are utterly expressive and the melody’s wonderful. This is one villain to root for. He may even be a hero in disguise.” –Anna Maria Stjärnell (Lune Kafe)
“Powerful Songwriting… rather stunning acoustic trio. His songs get torn down to their gutsy and moving basics… nothing short of mesmerizing.” (Salem Statesman Journal)
“…he brings colorful folk pop songs with easy-on the ear melodies… The songs themselves: a beautiful mixture of country pop songs, ballads, and soul-inspired songs. Mostly feather-light songs that are delivered without too many frizzles in a laid back style… A few favorites: ‘Just In Time,’ ‘Yellow House,’ ‘Hipster,’ ‘Achilles Heart’ (strongly resembles Crowded House) and the funny ‘We Got a Situation’ …it invites calm and enjoyable listening pleasure and because of that can be called a worthwhile album.” (Rootstime)
“(Shipe) morphs from one recording project to another… has made a career of creating music that straddles the line between rock and pop… Shipe’s strength has always been his lyrical ingenuity and his genre-straddling ability… He continues to show his strength as a fiercely independent songwriter while also collaborating with some of his dear friends. .. Shipe finds beauty in the mundane and sings lilting melodies with a lovelorn voice. He can sing about real-life angels taking flight, casually reference pop culture and sing about being ‘an elegant failure’ in a way that creates a totally endearing portrait of the artist as a young man with a sturdy heart that exists just outside of the boundaries… includes touches of country, baroque-sounding glockenspiel, backwoods-y soul, horns and wry observations, all of which combine to make Yellow House perhaps his greatest recording ever. Why Shipe hasn’t received more mainstream attention I don’t know, but this album should put to rest any doubts about his talents.” —Vanessa Salvia (Eugene Weekly)
“Anyone with a heinous ex or two will enjoy (‘Better Off Without You) which I have authoritatively deemed the greatest break-up song ever… blends genres from folk to hip hop and has poetic lyrics ranging from social commentary to mythological references… original and always entertaining.” —Ursula Evans Heritage (Eugene Weekly)
“An explosion of creativity.” (Register Guard, Eugene, OR)
“I gushed like a hot and bothered groupie… twists that go right when you expect the song to go left, melodies that pop out of nowhere and suck you in, lyrics that suddenly grip you, make you rewind and turn up the volume… –Melissa Bearns (The Source Weekly)
“John Shipe sings of kings and volcanoes, spaceships and a place called ‘Disneyville’…
Shipe has the perfect voice for the sensitive rock he delivers… His refreshing topics seduce your ears, while trumpets and lap steels add variety to the traditional guitar, bass and drum arrangements.” –Mare Wakefield(Performing Songwriter Magazine)
“… a thick intensity that never falters.” (Willamette Week, Portland, OR)
On Pollyanna Loves Cassandra (2004):
“…this ambitious and polished work show(s) Shipe to be a musical chameleon… the chops to navigate the twisting musical terrain. There are wide paths of assured, guitar-heavy rock, passages of more intimate singer-songwriter fare, playful pokes at rap, jam-outs, some sprite funk, even a visit into Santana’s territory, as well as a creative Jimi Hendrix cover. Vocally and lyrically, Shipe appears to prefer the role of the stoic, somewhat disenchanted commentator, and his poetic and literate prose moves from the personal to the political with grace… In addition to social commentary, humor looms large for Shipe and it shines through… a talented and capable songwriter and musician.” –Scott D. Lewis (The Oregonian)
“…a solid rock-band sound that capitalizes mostly on the catchiness of its songs. Shipe’s vocals are easy to listen to and always on the mark.” –Jon Hammond (The Argonaut)
Contact for interviews & business:
John Shipe, Involushun Management- (541) 521-5111