Beautiful Empty

by JOHN COMMON

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about

"An acoustic rock masterpiece. The album is a perfect 10." - Music Connection

"Beautiful Empty showcases a songwriter of remarkable depth and maturity. The album’s rich textures, orchestral arrangements and Common’s weathered-yet-optimistic vocals deliver a package that is sophisticated without being too slick. It invites you to poke beneath the surface, and rewards you with soul, insight and some musical surprises." - Denver Post

"After nearly quitting music, John Common made the best record of his life. The first thing you notice about Beautiful Empty is its spaciousness: The voices of Common and DeNicola blend together seamlessly. The lyrics on Beautiful Empty are every bit as affecting as the instrumentation, and as varied." - Westword

"Beautiful Empty, with its lush and spare arrangements, demands a broad audience. It's one of the finest records out of Denver in years." - North Denver News

“A talent as real and rich as John Common’s deserves to be spoken about.” – BUCKETFUL OF BRAINS / UK

“I admit I’m a bit of a skeptic. When I hear or see a lot of buildup or hype over something, I usually get a little put off, because too many times the “something” doesn’t measure up to the hype. When John Common and Blinding Flashes of Light finally took the stage, my doubts faded away. By the third song, I was a fan. By the fifth song, I wanted to join the band. The music was very nearly flawless–great sound, great arrangements, great vocals, great musicianship. It was one of those “good for the soul” music moments for me.” – THE EXAMINER REVIEW OF LIVE SHOW

“John Common and Blinding Flashes of Light emerged through smoke dressed to kill in black and red and goggles. From the second they took the stage until the second they left it, they played with the sort of blind joy that will make you believe in whatever they're doing… DeNicola’s voice is an arrow, unmistakable and full of personality. Common's voice, by contrast, is steady and broad. It swallows you. His band, composed of his choice of local talent, is of unmistakable high caliber, each capable of holding a song by himself. But this is John Common's music -- it's pure passion and happiness.” -- WESTWORD REVIEW OF LIVE SHOW

BEAUTIFUL EMPTY
Written and directed by Common, it is a lushly orchestrated, lovingly crafted collection of ambitious, cinematic and honest pop songs. The words and music that fill up Beautiful Empty will pin you to the wall, break your heart and put a knowing look on your face.

Why call it Beautiful Empty? It has something to do with solitude – intentional space – and the kinds of things that tend to only happen in those places. The songs come from those stories and films that play in our head when we’re finally quiet and empty enough to pay attention.

credits

released April 12, 2011

BEAUTIFUL EMPTY by
JOHN COMMON AND BLINDING FLASHES OF LIGHT

John Common :: voice, guitars, piano, rhodes, banjo, mandolin, toy piano
Jess DeNicola :: voice
Daren Hahn :: drums, percussion
Scott McCormick :: accordion
Wesley Michaels :: cello, saxophones, mandolin
Adam Revell :: wurlitzer, rhodes, organ, glockenspiel
Casey Sidwell :: bass
Carl Sorensen :: drums, percussion
Jimmy Stofer :: bass, voice
Jon Wirtz :: rhodes, piano, organ, glockenspiel

Produced by John Common and Blinding Flashes of Light
Engineered by John Macy and Nick Sullivan
Recorded at Macy Sound Studios, Cello Hill and Emmasaurus Studios
Mixed by John Macy
Mastered by Randy LeRoy at Airshow Mastering
Design by Scott McCormick
Photography by Scott McCormick and Kelly Kievit
All songs written by John Common except ‘Can You Hear Me’, lyrics by John Common and Jess DeNicola
Copyright John Common Music / BMI

For lyrics, photos, films, stories and upcoming shows please visit www.johncommon.com

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Track Name: Can You Hear Me
CAN YOU HEAR ME
written by john common and jess de nicola

I am down
In a hole
Lost my way
Lost control
Woke up alone
Where'd you go

Scared and pleading
Barely breathing

Can you hear me
Can you hear me
Can you hear me

Been down here
For so long
Can't recall
Where I'm from
I won't get out
On my own

Scared and pleading
Barely breathing

Can you hear me
Can you hear me
Can you hear me

Can you hear me… oh
Can you hear me… oh
Can you hear me
Track Name: Same Scar
SAME SCAR
written by john common

Hold on, your innocence
Is all you get to spend
It hurts just to see you blush
The universe waits for your touch

You're lovely and more than that
It'd break me into half
If any harm came to you
But I know it's coming, there's nothing we can do

Get ready, don't wither
I know where you've been
I know where you are
Get ready, don't wither
Coincidence
I have the same scar

The taxis are running
The TV's are humming
The camera loves to see skin
Hollywood is waiting to break you in

And it might be painful
And you might not know it
But you'll feel the cutting
When you're in the moment
The scarring helps you
'Cause it toughens you up
Oh no…
We got the same scar
Same scar

Get ready, don't wither
I know where you've been
I know where you are
Get ready, don't wither
I know where you've been
I know where you are
Get ready, don't wither
Coincidence, coincidence
Coincidence, coincidence
We got the same scar
Track Name: Wide Open World
WIDE OPEN WORLD
written by john common

When you were a baby
You knew what you wanted
You kept it real simple
Didn't you?

Now your life is a puzzle
You keep digging the tunnel
Head down in the funnel
Of wandering

Wide open world
It's a wide open world
World

Liars love leavers
And losers leave lovers
We hurt one another
Without meaning to

Sad situation…
Blissful rejection…
Set free on the ocean
Of missing you

Wide open world
It's a wide open world
Wide open world
Wide open world
Wide open

Everyone, everyone, everyone one needs
Everyone, everyone, everyone one needs
Everyone, everyone, , everyone one needs
Everyone, everyone, everyone one need this world
Track Name: Go To Hell (With Me)
GO TO HELL (WITH ME)
copyright john common

Oh the moon is a runaway girl
Who sleeps on the street
I've been whispering secrets
Into the soles of her feet
Your lamp's been asking questions
But I'm never gonna tell
Girl, you love a criminal who wants to go to hell

Go to hell… go to hell with me
They're reserving a table… i guarantee

I know people love to suffer
It makes them want to stay
Your heart is made of silver
Melt it down and hide it away
I'll even steal your shadow
When there's nothing left to sell
Girl, you love a criminal who wants to go to hell

Go to hell… go to hell with me
They're reserving a table… i guarantee

Most people are born as beautiful blank slates
But on the day i was torn from my mom, it was already too late

You never should have loved me
What was going through your head?
Now we're twisted like a cable
And holding by a thread
If god is a magician
We could use another spell
Girl, you love a criminal who wants to go to hell

Go to hell… go to hell with me
They're reserving a table… i guarantee
Go to hell… go to hell with me
Go to hell… it's lovely
Track Name: In My Neighborhood
IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD
written by john common

Mary loved Tony for 70 years
On the day that he died, no tears
He saw it comin', she saw it too
When it hurts that bad, cryin' won’t help you

In my neighborhood
In my neighborhood

Michael and Michelle were always in a fight
I could hear them yellin' through the window every night
But Michael found a job and they bought a little house
Nobody was fightin' on the day they moved out

In my neighborhood
In my neighborhood

Ramon and his family live across the street
He cooks at three restaurants to make ends meet
Says he always dreamed of runnin' his own place
I bet he's gonna do it, I can see it on his face

In my neighborhood
In my neighborhood

Pretty blonde lady about fourty-four
Decided that she could not wait any more
Her new dream man isn't tall, dark or handsome
But she knows when she needs him, he's gonna answer

Me on my porch, dreamin' up songs
Smoking, drinkin' coffee all day long
Everybody wonders will he get a real job
Maybe I will, when I finish this song

In my neighborhood
In my neighborhood
In my neighborhood
In my neighborhood
Track Name: Intermission
this is an instrumental track
Track Name: Walter Whitman
WALTER WHITMAN
written by john common

When I'm old and the time I sold
Comes back to me in memory
All my gray hair turn me silver
Holding on to my rocking chair

I wonder what i'll want back
I wonder what i'll give back
But it doesn’t work that way

Walter Whitman
I want your wisdom now
Writing on my page
But my captain
Doesn't answer 'til
The ship is anchored safe
And the babies tucked away

Did you live right, did you love right
Did they hear your melody
Rise above the noisy city
Like a bird that's finally free

Now I see it
All together
We'll make it work this way

Walter Whitman
I want your wisdom now
Writing on my page
But my captain
Doesn't answer 'til
The ship is anchored safe
And the babies tucked away

Walter Whitman
Walter Whitman
Track Name: Love Is A Shark
LOVE IS A SHARK
written by john common

Love is stalking you
It's parked at the end of your block
When you walk away from love
It loves the way you walk
Love is following you
It can swim faster than your car
You're getting drunk next to love, babe
It followed you in this bar

Love is creepy
Love is dark
Love is scary
'Cause love's a shark
It's gonna eat you, take you to the bottom
Of a deep dark hole
But it's the thing you need
You know you want to bleed
Baby, love's a shark
Baby, love's a shark

Love can swim through bedroom walls
It knows when you cry
You can curse and you can kick it
But you still can't make love die
Love didn’t crown you lonely
You did that on your own
But it'll be there waiting
When you come down off your throne

Love is creepy
Love is dark
Love is scary
'Cause love's a shark
It's gonna eat you, take you to the bottom
Of a deep dark hole
But it's the thing you need
You know you want to bleed
Baby, love's a shark
Baby, baby
Baby, baby
Baby, love's a shark
Track Name: Build Me A Crown
Build Me A Crown
copyright john common

My kingdom’s desire
I want to feel more
I want more destruction
Down in my core
Hoist it all up and burn it all down
Seduce me to pieces and build me a crown
Seduce me to pieces and build me a crown

A mean animal
A fish with no pond
A slithering reptile
A lost, dirty swan
Homeless and filthy, a pitiful clown
Seduce me to pieces and build me a crown
Seduce me to pieces and build me a crown

Everyone’s building
Something shiny and true
Nobody gets dirty
But the dirt waits for you
You want a tall building? Then grab a big cup
It takes a deep hole to keep all this up

Promises, wishes
Promises, prayers
Whispered at midnight
Lonely and scared
Use your best magic
Use your last sound
Seduce me to pieces and build me a crown
Seduce me to pieces and build me a crown
Track Name: The Man Who Could
THE MAN WHO COULD
written by john common

The beautiful ones smoke along the banisters
Watching the mating dance swirl around you down below
I was just walking down the street
I wasn't planning to be
The man who could really, really love you

When the bars give out and lovers run into the street
I’ll be lost in a fitful sleep dreaming of you
You stood there like a jewel
While I acted like a reckless fool
Not the man who could really, really love you

So the next time you’re alone
And some nervous boy tries to say hello
Don't be surprised
When you look into his eyes
If you see the man who could really, really love you
He’s the man who could really, really love you
Track Name: Turnaround
TURNAROUND
written by john common

No matter where you stand
This principle is true
No matter what the cost
It all comes back to you
When you've played your hand
And you've had your turn
All the matches gone
There's nothing left to burn

Where is your soul now
Where is your soul now
Where'd you see it last
Can you get it back

Where do you go
What do you say
When you're cornered good
And can't run away
When all that gold
Becomes a pile of trash
And in your dirty hands
Love turns to ash

Where is your soul now
Where is your soul now
Where'd you see it last
Can you get it back

Does it make you angry
Does it bring you down
Do you ever remember
Well then turnaround

Speak up…speak to me
Hold on… hold on to me
Or walk away and... Leave me alone

You felt pristine
Standing over there
Teeth wet and white
Ready to tear
Oh I'd bleed for you
Like I did before
But dramatic gestures
Never open doors
We never leave the room
We're always standing there
Naked and bruised
Hands in the air

Where is our soul now
Where is our soul now
Where'd we see it last
Can we get it back
Where is our soul now
Where is our soul now
Where'd we see it last
Can we get it back

Then turnaround, turnaround
Turnaround, turnaround