Day 16: Five For Fighting – “Two Lights”

Tracklisting

  1. “Freedom Never Cries” ā€“ 4:22
  2. “World”
  3. “California Justice”
  4. “The Riddle”
  5. “Two Lights”
  6. “65 Mustang”
  7. “I Just Love You”
  8. “Policeman’s Xmas Party”
  9. “Road To Heaven”
  10. “Johnny America”

John Ondrasik, who goes by the stage name of Five For Fighting, has been one of my favorite song writers since the beginning – well “American Town” that is.

Ondrasik is a huge hockey fan as you can tell by the name of the band. Growing up in LA, he’s a huge Kings fan and has even written monthly columns for Sports Illustrated. I had the chance to meet him and talk a little hockey with him last year after his show in Philly. He’s an extraordinary and genuine guy. During the show, he commented on how much he loved the make up of the Flyers team, saying something like “What’s scary about your tough guys is that they can score! Guys like Asham, Carcillo and Laperriere can kick your butt and then score on top of it.”

John Ondrasik and I after the Five For Fighting show in Philly's Electric Factory on March 8, 2010.

Anyway, “Two Lights” is Ondrasik’s best work in my opinion. It’s his fourth album and he got it right on this one. Unlike “American Town” and “Battle For Everything” that had a few good songs scattered, “Two Lights” is filled with some incredible songs that go unnoticed.

“The Riddle” was the album’s single. What’s amazing about Ondrasik is that he produces incredible singles like this one, “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” and “100 Years” that EVERYONE practically knows but they don’t listen to anything else. It’s a crime.

“The Riddle” is about the love between a father and son. It mentions baseball, listening to classic rock (Dylan and Pink Floyd references) and finding your true love.

Picked up my kid from school today
Did you learn anything? ?Cause in the world today
You can’t live in a castle far away
Now talk to me, come talk to me

He said, “Dad I’m big, but we’re smaller than small
In the scheme of things, well we’re nothing at all
Still every mother’s child sings a lonely song
So play with me, come play with me”

“Freedom Never Cries” opens up the album. It’s a song he wrote for the soldiers at war. Ondrasik is a huge supporter of the troops, releasing charity albums for the USO for the past couple years. “World,” the second song on the album, is about shaping the world as you want it.

There are two songs on this album that I really dig as well above the rest and they are “Two Lights” and “’65 Mustang.” Both of these songs are personal to Ondrasik. On his live CD, he tells a story about how he met this army veteran who was worried about his kid off at war. The song is about him, who told his wife that “I’m going for a drive/And if you find out he’s coming home/When I come around the corner/I’ll know that it’s alright/Just leave me two lights.”

“’65 Mustang” is about a car Ondrasik owns that he holds near and dear to his heart. What man doesn’t love his car, especially a beauty like a ’65 Mustang?

“Two Lights” is an exceptional album to listen to, meditate to and if you’re a pianist like me, to play on the piano and sing. This is one of those albums that are driven by the emotion put behind the singer’s lyrics and Ondrasik does an incredible job of interpreting his message through song.

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