New EP Review


JOHN BATDORF: I’m Not Givin’ Up

by Wayne RikerDecember 2023

I’m Not Givin’ Up is the latest CD drop from veteran singer/songwriter John Batdorf. All five tracks are short and sweet three-minute-plus pop-flavored original tunes with insightful philosophical musings on life, love, and introspection. The entire recording is void of any distracting guitar solos or grand orchestrated arrangements, just Batdorf telling like it is in his own clever lyrical fashion, inviting us in with his pleasantly alluring voice.

The title-track opener had me a bit concerned that Batdorf was possibly giving up churning out CDs, but quite the opposite. “I’m Not Givin’ Up” is all about his passion for expressing universal love, a theme that runs through this project and previous ones as well. “There’s something inside us all that is yearning for expression, not somebody else’s but our heart of heart’s true confession.”

Those of a certain age will enjoy the track, “At this Age,” a humorous but all-too-true commentary for those who are not aging gracefully. “Act your age, no one thinks that a face lift makes you look young, act your age, your toupee is not fooling anyone,” along with a refrain of reality: “I get it, we all wanna stop time from marching on, but maybe we could all try and see, some things are all long gone.”

Batdorf dials in some nice vocal harmonies for his optimistic love-themed track “Cheer Me Up.” “That smiling face, your love embrace, will always cheer me up,” followed by the tender ballad, “Come Tomorrow,” a lost opportunity of love’s possibilities. “I’ve been searching through my past for so long to find the courage that is gone, come tomorrow was the message that she left, come tomorrow but I’m not quite ready yet…come tomorrow, the last words I heard her say, but I never thought it meant come right away.”

The closing track, “None of Us Know,” is Batdorf’s grand finale, which appears lyrically to signal a bigger love awaiting us beyond what we may understand, especially in the repeating chorus: “None of us know what we think that we know, until our vision begins to expand,” along with his poignant verse, “more than the first glance that became a romance, more than a fleeting conversation… now I know that I know it’s more than love I’m giving.”

One thing we do know is that Batdorf leaves us with an upbeat, optimistic, and universal message of love along with an insightful existential view of ourselves expressed exquisitely in his lush musical arrangements and golden voice. Give this album a listen and I’m sure you’ll agree with me that we won’t be giving up on his artistic musical journey anytime soon.