This Perfect World

This Perfect World is the third album by singer-songwriter Freedy Johnston. It was released in 1994 on Elektra Records.

This Perfect World
Freedy Johnston This Perfect World.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJune 28, 1994
GenreAlternative rock, power pop
ProducerButch Vig
Freedy Johnston chronology
Can You Fly
This Perfect World
Never Home
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
Christgau's Consumer Guide(3-star Honorable Mention)(3-star Honorable Mention)(3-star Honorable Mention)[2]
Entertainment WeeklyA[3]
Los Angeles Times3/4 stars[4]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[5]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[6]
Spin Alternative Record Guide8/10[7]

It is an album steeped in regret and loss. The narrator of "Across the Avenue" is unable to get past the memory of seeing his lover killed in a pedestrian accident. In "Two Lovers Stop," a young couple commit suicide rather than let themselves be ripped away from each other. The title track concerns a dying old man returning to apologize to his estranged daughter for unspecified past misdeeds. Among the other songs, "Evie's Tears" apparently refers to sexual abuse (evidently by a priest), and "Dolores" is based on Nabokov's Lolita. Despite the preponderance of dark subject matter, the album has a jaunty feel as Johnston demonstrates an ability to craft winning pop melodies.

Reviews of the album were overflowing with praise, although those same reviewers also generally felt that it didn't quite measure up to his previous album, 1992's Can You Fly.

This Perfect World was produced by Butch Vig, who also played on the album's minor hit, "Bad Reputation." Other notable contributors include cellist Jane Scarpantoni, who performed on two tracks, and Marshall Crenshaw.

Track listingEdit

All songs written by Freedy Johnston.

  1. "Bad Reputation" – 4:08
  2. "Evie's Tears" – 3:01
  3. "Can't Sink This Town" – 3:52
  4. "This Perfect World" – 4:35
  5. "Cold Again" – 2:37
  6. "Two Lovers Stop" – 2:46
  7. "Across the Avenue" – 3:29
  8. "Gone Like the Water" – 2:44
  9. "Dolores" – 3:43
  10. "Evie's Garden" – 2:54
  11. "Disappointed Man" – 3:15
  12. "I Can Hear the Laughs" – 3:10



  1. ^ Coulter, Kristi. "This Perfect World – Freedy Johnston". AllMusic. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000). "Freedy Johnston: This Perfect World". Christgau's Consumer Guide: Albums of the '90s. St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0-312-24560-2. Retrieved August 3, 2015.
  3. ^ Jackson, Devon (July 15, 1994). "This Perfect World". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  4. ^ Cromelin, Richard (July 24, 1994). "He's Your Desk Clerk at Heartbreak Hotel". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  5. ^ O'Dair, Barbara (July 14, 1994). "Freedy Johnston: This Perfect World". Rolling Stone. p. 102. Archived from the original on October 7, 2008. Retrieved May 19, 2017.
  6. ^ Randall, Mac (2004). "Freedy Johnston". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 437. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  7. ^ Weisbard, Eric (1995). "Freedy Johnston". In Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig (eds.). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. pp. 201–02. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.