David Browne
February 06, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Battle for Everything

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Five for Fighting
Producers
Aware

We gave it an C+

Five for Fighting auteur John Ondrasik is a man fighting against his own strengths. With his sweetened falsetto and knack for supple hooks and unrequited-love lyrics, he’s a natural lite FM balladeer (heard here on ”Maybe I” and ”Dying”). But deep down, he yearns to be a serious artist making grand statements. The band’s third CD is weighed down by artificially inflated anthems, garbled lyrics about the apocalypse, and coy attempts at surrealism. Ondrasik’s ambition is admirable, but not always listenable.

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