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Five For Fighting - The Battle for Everything - Sony

July 14, 2001 approximately 11 months (count ‘em – 11) after Five For Fighting and John Ondrasik released America Town, John was on stage at XPN’s Singer-Songwriter Weekend and still on the brink of commercial success. John sat down at the piano and played the opening chords to “Superman,”

a song that was just beginning to get airplay on other stations across the country. Within seconds, the crowd began singing along to the song…”I’m more than a bird, I’m more than a man….” It was then that John realized that his career was taking off and Singer-Songwriter Weekend was a turning point for Ondrasik.

After the song and the reaction of the crowd to John’s set he turned to several of the XPN staff and said, “this is where it all begins.” Thanking the crowd, he was moved beyond words at the reaction they had to his music. Unbeknownst to him, huge mainstream success was right around the corner, due to the circumstances that were to follow on 9/11 and “Superman” became the anthem of our times.

The Battle For Everything is Five For Fighting's and Ondrasik’s brilliant follow-up to America Town. And, it is produced by songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Bill Botrell, responsible for breakthrough records like Tuesday Night Music Club by Sheryl Crow, I Am Shelby Lynne by Shelby Lynne. The production and overall sound of this record count for a lot on Battle: from the sweeping string arrangements, the rich and resonant piano sound, the well placed guitar effects (listen to the vocals and guitar interplay on the song “Infidel”) and the insidious percussion and rhythm. The record is dramatic without being corny. Passionate without being affected.

Battle continues to showcase Ondrasik’s poetic eloquence in the articulation of Everyman and the issues we face in our lives and written extensively into the stories on America Town. Battle is a deeper study of the characters on America Town. Perhaps it is the “battle for everything,” yet there’s always a hint of optimism and reflection to Ondrasik’s songs. Sure, the melodies are tight and fresh and the timing of his phrasing gives the songs emotional punch. This is Ondrasik’s tradmark: it’s all over this record including the songs “The Devil In The Wishing Well,” “Angels & Girlfriends,” “If God Made You,” “Dying,” and the epic closing tune, “Nobody.” Ondrasik gets extra points for even making fun of himself on the song “Disneyland.”

John came by a couple years ago as a guest DJ on the Leicht Lunch with Helen Leicht and played The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Elton John – among others. Clearly inspired by the classic rock he grew up listening to, John Ondrasik manages to make the genre sound relevant. This is his 'Tumbleweed Connection' for the 00’s.

Written by Bruce Warren

Release Date: 2/3/2004

Track List
1.NYC Weather Report - 4:53
2.The Devil in the Wishing Well - 3:31
3.If God Made You - 4:15
4.100 Years - 4:04
5.Angels & Girlfriends - 3:29
6.Dying - 3:18
7.Infidel - 3:31
8.Disneyland - 3:52
9.Maybe I - 4:29
10.The Taste - 3:09
11.One More for Love - 4:13
12.Nobody - 5:11

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