When a handful of Jonny Craig solo demos leaked months ago, one of them had some promise. That demo, originally called “Empty California Winters,” has since been fleshed out and released as “We Black Hearts Bear The Cross.”
I can say with some confidence that I’ve heard every song Jonny Craig has released. That includes a dozen or so featured spots and even a few songs that will never see the light of day. Despite his displeasing and dramatic existence in music, I’m still compelled by his vocal chords, so I keep up.
Jonny Craig has soul, but I find that he excels most in rock music. He’s been gunning for the whole Weeknd vibe for a few years now, and he’s close to finding something cool, but he’s still not there yet. This song has the R&B feeling he’s looking for, but the lyricism is weak. Ultimately, the chorus is the most redeemable part of Craig’s performance.
The rap bridge laid out by Kyle Lucas is quite good. I’ve been following Lucas’ career for a few years and he only impresses me more with each verse. He’s growing rapidly in a way Craig is not.
I know that Jonny Craig is trying. It’s evident. He’s been working harder than ever before these past 2 years, but his gains are small. His vocal runs remain familiar and unexciting. In that way, I think he is on par with The Weeknd. Kiss Land was a major bore.
He can’t settle though, Craig needs to keep pushing. He’s there. He’s on the cusp of something great. Maybe that something is on The Blueprint For Going In Circles, I suppose we’ll see.
Buy “We Black Hearts Bear The Cross” on iTunes.