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Single Review: John McDonough “Shooting Star”

Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, John McDonough is a singer-songwriter with a vast six decades of musical experience under his belt. With so much touring knowledge under his belt, he’s a bit of storied performer, with a ton of songwriting tricks in his book. With that, he now returns, a brand new single in tow with “Shooting Star.” Today we’ll be giving it a closer look in our full review.

Surprisingly, “Shooting Star,” is a song that tells the harrowing tale of a young boy, facing life with the weight of loss and expectation on his back. As he discovers the pain of loss, he pushes through with only hope and some words of inspiration to keep him going. While it’s quite the tragic tale, there’s a running theme of hope and perseverance that comes through beautifully.

The song begins in with an intense, intimate guitar riff, and with that it establishes an atmosphere that’s constricting and aggressive. “Shooting Star,” keeps its instrumentals relatively sparse, with the running guitar riff being the main star of the show. A simple piano section gets added later into the song, giving a moment of brevity to the tense feeling.

Every instrument sounds clean and well produced, with every moment carrying huge amounts of emotional gravitas. On top of that, the arrangements here are simply stellar, with strong leitmotifs and melodies helping to convey the strong imagery being sang. We also have to give praise to the way “Shooting Star,” builds up to its climax, truly excellent in theory and execution.

Songwriting on the single is immaculate stuff. You can tell from just a single listen that every songwriting decision here was made with love, care and thought. Every moment is filled with clever, heartfelt lyrics and strong sentiments expressed through music, making for an engaging listen the whole way through.

John’s voice however is the glue that keeps everything together. His vocal delivery is rough, raspy and melodic, and it suits the story being told perfectly. Every single moment is beautifully delivered, hitting all the emotional high notes you’d expect. John even outdoes himself later in the song, as his voice builds up to a triumphant climax during the song’s denouement.

If you’re a fan of country music, you owe it to yourself to give John McDonough’s “Shooting Star,” a listen. It’s one of the finest singles we’ve heard all year, a song worthy of the pedigree behind its artist. We loved every moment of it, and we hope to see more just like this from John in the future.



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