the Buzz for September 8th, 2011


Jon McLaughlin — “Indiana” (from Indiana) — Indiana - Indiana

Jon McLaughlin — “Dance Your Life Away” (from OK Now) — Dance Your Life Away - OK Now (Bonus Track Version)

Jon McLaughlin (with Xenia Martinez) — “Maybe It’s Over”
(from Forever If Ever) — Maybe It's Over - Forever If Ever

It was my great pleasure to welcome to Brandon’s Buzz Radio earlier this week the fabulous McLaughlin, a fiercely gifted Midwest kid, possessed of some prodigious piano chops, who broke through with his heartfelt 2007 debut, Indiana, and who has just released his lovely third effort, Forever If Ever. (Forever, as of this writing, is primarily a digital release, with the physical version only on sale at Jon’s own website, so no need to waste time doing what I did and searching for this high and low at your local record store.) The fact that much of his material resists easy categorization most logically explains why he’s not currently a bigger star than he is — particularly in these GaGa-fueled days in which pop success quite literally demands lickety-split labeling — but I say the diverse range McLaughlin brilliantly displays across his best work — from the heart-wrenching gorgeousness of his assured, arresting debut, to the giddy glee of his ’80s-inspired pop jam, to the enchanting electricity pulsing through his latest offering, a quasi-duet with Xenia, one of the breakouts from season one of NBC’s Idol knockoff The Voice — is among the things to admire about him as an artist. (Incidentally, if you missed any or all of my conversation with McLaughlin, you can catch the episode in its entirety here, or you can download it as a free podcast from iTunes.)