Former Verbena member and Birmingham, Alabama talent expands his sound in winning ways.
Rabbit Runs a Destiny finds Birmingham, Alabama's Johnston shaking off the straightforward singer-songwriter style that marked earlier releases, this time going for a grimier, more impressionistic sound. Kicking off with the moody percussion and eerie harmonies of "Heart Is Breaking", Rabbit establishes itself as Johnston's most adventurous record yet. Nearly every song seems to go through a hazy, dreamy veil where vocals float, guitar feedback gently swirls, and half-heard sounds. Midway through the album, "We Were Young" bursts forth with angry clarity as Johnston sings "I've seen through the smoke / I've seen through the fires / all the things that you breathe / the things that you lie / open your lips and tell me the truth." Throughout Rabbit, the former Verbena member ranges from pastoral Pink Floyd melodies to flirtations with Beatles-style psychedelia to songs that stay just on this side of the rock fence. Rabbit Runs a Destiny finds Johnston rummaging through a toolbox of new sounds and production, and he does rather surprising things with what he finds.