A Best Fourth Release Nominee in the 2005 Awards
With the new music releases in 2005, the key word seemed to be ‘diversify’! Most bands’ ’05 releases showed them, well, diversifying their talents, often to new and great heights (take Relient K, Switchfoot, and Spoken for just a few of the many examples). John Reuben’s album is no exception— this CD shows him branching out both musically and lyrically.
Interestingly, The Boy vs. The Cynic turned out to be a clever title. For this fourth album, John had given his label two CD’s (of very different styles) to choose from— one containing more fun and lyrically-lighter tracks, and one containing darker, lyrically-heavier tracks. He had expected the label to choose the lighter CD; but because they felt that the serious stuff needed to be heard as well, the label chose to take some of each— making the album’s title a very true one.
The Boy vs. The Cynic starts off with “Out Of Control”, an amazingly playable fan favorite that is one of John’s all-time best.
Next follows “Nuisance” (featuring Matt Thiesson of Relient K), a song that ate up the radio charts and became another fan favorite.
“Chapter 1” describes the darkly fake and cynical world, but offers some grains of hope in the middle of the song.
“Follow Your Leader” is another one of John’s best— the chorus’ powerful guitarwork and equally powerful, true lyrics will have you listening intently in a heartbeat.
“Sales Pitch” is a track with an almost creepy chorus, but it’s filled with lyrics that are sure to make you think.
“Sunshine” is a mildly goofy song musically, but it does have some good lyrics.
“So Glad” (featuring Tom Skipper from ) is one of John’s ‘occasional dance tracks’— it’s definitely lighthearted.
“What About Them?” is quite a departure; lyrically, it’s the most cutting track we’ve ever heard from him [not just on this album, but to date]. If you’ve followed John’s music for a while, you might get a mild shock the first time you listen to this track— we did— but that’s exactly what he intended. Once past your surprise, listen carefully to his words: “What About Them?” is a sharp wake-up call, reminding everyone to care about and generously help those who are in need in other countries.
“There’s Only Forgiveness” is another great, powerful song, showing how futile bitterness and revenge is and that forgiveness is vitally necessary.
“All I Have” is another one of John’s best, emphasizing letting go of your own desires and being content.
“Cooperate” is another wake-up call, this time a targeted one.
Finally, title track “The Boy vs. The Cynic” closes off the album with a reminder to embrace— or in many cases re-embrace— innocence and purity.