Tag Archives: New Music

US Review: Jennifer Saran “Wake Up”

11 Dec


Saran, Jennifer: Wake Up

Jennifer Saran is a Hong Kong based singer songwriter with a new album titled Wake Up, the follow up to her holiday album Merry Christmas, You Are Loved released in 2015. First things first. If you are solely into progressive rock you might as well stop reading this immediately as this is adult contemporary pop music with the occasional nod to jazz and soul. To prove my point the first time I put this in the player my wife replied, “this is nice.” She is not the biggest prog rock fan if you get my drift although she does like the occasional helping of Floyd and Rush. The album recording is top notch with the instruments and vocals very clear. On the plus side Saran does have a beautiful voice and she also gets help from the African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo on three tracks including the lead off title tune which also includes lead guitar from Carlos Santana. Here is playing is reserved and mostly set back in the mix although it is always a treat to hear the man play. The rest of the songs are mostly slow to mid-tempo balladic fair with ear candy choruses and lush strings.

My favourite song is the Billy Paul tribute “Me and Mr. Jones”, a nicely crafted soulful ballad and a real throwback to a bygone era. The synth solo in the infectious “Look At Me Fly” is also quite nice. The heartwarming “Old Cape Cod” is another nod to old time pop music.Being that I mostly listen to much heavier music I probably won’t play this much but over the holiday season this just might hit the spot when wanting something light and airy. And hey, my better half will likely appreciate it.Track Listing:
1. Wake Up (4:36)
2. Jesus To A Child Tribute to George Michael (5:11)
3. Really (4:10)
4. Me and Mr. Jones – Tribute to Billy Paul (4:50)
5. You Are My Star (4:25)
6. Too Young To Know (4:16)
7. Better Than Me – ‘for anjali’ (3:23)
8. Look At Me Fly (4:02)
9. Old Cape Cod – Tribute to Patti Page (3:30)
10. Try To Forgive (But I Cannot Forget) (4:24)
11. Lean On Me – Tribute to Bill Withers (4:42)
12. Grace Is The Champion (3:32)
13. I Will Always Be Your Home (4:16)
14. My Love and Devotion – Tribute to Doris Day (4:18)
15. Aad Guray (5:42)

Added: November 27th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist’s Official Site
Hits: 28
Language: english


Belgium Review: Acting Natural “Acting Natural”

6 Dec

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1967 was the highlight of The Beatles. Exactly half a century later, from New York sounds the same sound over the ocean. What inspires a young trio from Tampa Florida to conquer the world from the big Apple with a nostalgic retrospective? Love for quality music of course.
Three Americans, dressed up with badgers, undeniably fan of the British super band and the London Led Zeppelin, released their first EP last month. Acting Natural shines on this with six authentic pop songs. (For the Americans, of course pure rock & roll.). Literally you should not take the group name ‘Natural Acting’ either. Even the haircut reminds us of John or George.
As you might suspect, Acting Natural catapults itself in the 60′-70 ‘past.
Opener ‘The One’ can be confused with a Beatles song for my part. In ‘Nicole’ they can not hide their American roots. Singing together, elongated end notes and a catchy melody à la Todd Rundgren point to their natural musical behavior. Also in ‘Missed The Train’ is that Liverpool ghost popping up. The later full album will show whether British DNA is ‘acting’.
Acting Natural delivers beautiful work that will delight both young and old. The trio leaves no opportunity to spread their sweet revival message. From hip-hop clubs to hardcore metal venues, positive reactions followed everywhere. Also mine!
Line up:
Eric Carnevale (Lead Vocals, Guitar, Piano, Organ)
James David Maney (Bass, Vocals)
Jesse Leonard (Drummer, Vocals)



US Track-by-Track Review: Indubious “From Zero”

4 Dec

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From Zero

Review by Gary Hill
If you like reggae but feel rather adventurous, this might be for you. On the one hand this is well rooted in traditional reggae music. The thing is, they bring in electronic and modern pop sounds to round things out and update that sound. Everything here works quite well, and there are some real shining stars on this set, too.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2017  Volume 6 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
He Who Has Ears
The opening section of this is dominated by the vocals. The reggae meets modern pop music vibe on this is solid. This is clearly more along the lines of the pure reggae end of the spectrum, though.
Keyboards are prominent on the introduction section to this. The cut shifts out to more of a well-rounded arrangement. This cut is more pure reggae than the opener was. It still has some modern elements at play, though. I love the fast paced section. It’s so cool and has some great vocals.
Golden Ones (feat. Sizzla Kalonji)
With a bit of hip hop and some electronic music built into it, this cut is just so cool. It has a great vibe and sound. It’s catchy and feels very empowering.
Free Up
The opening here feels a bit jazzy, but the cut turns more toward pure reggae from there. This is a catchy tune that reminds of the most accessible Bob Marley stuff.
Don’t Lose Sleep (feat. Vaughn Benjamin)
There some parts in the middle of this that have a non-lyrical vocal approach that almost makes me think of throat singing. Still, this cut overall is another effective and credible reggae tune. You really can’t beat it.
See Sharp
The keyboard textures that bring this into being align it with electronic music. The cut shifts toward the reggae direction but has a definite modern pop music element at play. I don’t like this as much I do the rest.
If You Follow
There is some bouncy piano built into the opening of this. The cut works out from there to an electronic pop driven reggae sound to carry onward. This is fun, and not as pop oriented as the previous number was.
Sheep of Conformity
We’re back into more pure reggae territory here. I love this song. It’s one of my favorites of the album.
I love the vibe and groove of this piece. It’s a pretty tune with a great classic reggae sound. Yet there is still a modern electronic edge to it.
Another classy reggae tune, this isn’t all that different. That said, it’s quite effective.
School Again
This might be the best tune here. It has this meaty, powerhouse electronic music vibe delivered in the midst of a classic reggae tune. It’s a killer.
Root Down (feat. Zahira)
I like the rap in the middle of this cut quite a bit. The whole tune is a classy mid-tempo number. There are some bits of funky soulful guitar at points. This is just so classy. There are some great female vocals later in the track. They bring a real R&B element to the tune.
We Got Vibes
A run reggae tune, this is strong. It is quite percussive in nature. I love the piano and organ work on this number, too. Those bring an old school rock and roll thing to it.
Sky High
Reggae and electronic music merge nicely on this energetic, bouncy little tune. It seems like a remix kind of thing. While it’s not my favorite thing here, it represents some definite variety. It’s also fun and entertaining.


Canada Review: Acting Natural “Acting Natural”

30 Nov

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Canadian Review: Indubious “From Zero”

28 Nov

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Belgium Review: Michael Tracy “Still Got Soul”

27 Nov

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Charlotte is a city in the US state of North Carolina. It is the home of rock singer Michael Tracy who started his musical adventure as a soloist at the beginning of 2011 after completing his military service at the Navy. He married and became the father of two children who inspired him to compose own songs for his first album “Enough Small Talk” that appeared on the market at the end of 2011.

In the following years, he founded his own group and began to take care of all kinds of performances in North Carolina and neighboring states. He was in the forefront of George Thorogood and the rock groups ‘Styx’, ‘Foreigner’, ‘Jefferson Starship’ and ‘Bon Jovi’. The logical consequence was therefore a second album “Gonna Smile” released in early 2015.

With artists like Bob Seger, Bryan Adams and Tom Petty as his main source of inspiration and musical example, he steadily developed his solo career, and in early 2016 his third album was released under the title “Love And Worries”. Already almost one and a half years later, album number four is a fact and we can take a closer look at the new album “Still Got Soul”.

The ten songs on this album were composed by Michael Tracy and producer Sahaj Ticotin. It’s mostly rock’n’roll tracks that are fast-to-be-racked, and sometimes in the opening song “Laughter”, “Sweet Smile” and “Shake It”. In order to make everything sound easier, Michael Tracy has always integrated a catchy melody into the songs, such as “My Lisa”, “Savannah Nights” and “Hopeful” or in the rock ballads “Still Got Soul”, “Call Me Wild “,” No More Waiting “and the beautiful” Raven “we add to the live video added in a live performance.

By the end of 2016, especially rocky rock “Poinsettia Red” composed for the final year celebrations, we also get an excellent bonus track gift at the end of this new album by Michael Tracy. The melodious performance and the handsome arrangements that Sahaj Ticotin has added to the songs make for a nice finish and makes this album very enjoyable.


Portugese Review: Acting Natural “Acting Natural”

22 Nov


Translated from Via Nocturna:


Album | Acting Natural

Artist | Acting Natural

About Us | Independent

Year | 2017

Home | USA

Contact Us | Pop-Rock, 60’s Rock, Alternative Rock

Classification | 5.2 / 6

Highlights | The One, Pairadice, Missed The Train

For fans of | The Beatles, James, Arctic Monkeys, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Spencer Day


Premiere work, in EP format, of the original trio from Tampa, Florida baptized as Acting Natural .Six songs of great musicality, melody and vocal work, with a sound that recovers the simplicity and clarity of composition of The Beatles projecting it to a more golden aurea. The band acts naturally and creates a unique, organic and coherent sound led by a creative bass and where guitar solos, although little present, when they arise is imposed by its quality.


  1. The One
  2. Nicole
  3. Pairadice
  4. Bloom
  5. Early Morning
  6. Missed The Train

Line up

Eric Carnevale – vocals, guitars, piano, organ, percussion

James David Maney – Bass, vocals

Jesse Leonard – drums, vocals



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