I've been on an Alexz Johnson kick since discovering some of her spectacular shelved Epic tracks, and realized she's one of the great unsung talents of her generation. She writes, she plays, she has a spectacular voice, and she's recorded an obscene number of albums for someone her age, though much of her material's been left to collect dust in label vaults in a series cruel twists of fate. For those unfamiliar: Johnson is a Canadian actress/singer known chiefly from Instant Star, a pop music themed drama on which she performed a song each episode. My familiarity with the show consists of YouTube clips, so I'm sure others will have more comprehensive views on the standouts. The Breakdown The Music During and after the show, Johnson was signed to Columbia Records and then Epic, before being dropped due to corporate restructuring - read, her A+R's getting fired - each time. She came very close to releasing an album twice. The Epic album, which I believe was to be titled after the track 'Running With The Devil' was nigh-complete and is absolutely brilliant. Try on for size: Chicago Running With The Devil Because Epic retained ownership of all the music, the songs will likely never legitimately see the light of day. I hope she becomes a big enough star some day to get those tracks back, because they're amazing. In one of the most likable traits in her bio, Johnson was undeterred by her two shelved albums and marched straight out and recorded a brand new one, with no funding or label backing. It's basically a one woman act, and the resulting album - Voodoo - is great. LA Made Me Voodoo (...In fairly spectacular live form. Check out that voice.) Again, hard to pick tracks here because it's so solid across the board. Apparently a mainstream producer - Demo Castellion, Mr. Furtado himself, bless him - finally took notice and the album's being remixed to be more radio-friendly and geared up for re-release this fall. Definitely worth investigating, fellow pop snobs!