Tag Archives: Pop

US Review: Jennifer Saran “Wake Up”

11 Dec

http://www.seaoftranquility.org/reviews.php?op=showcontent&id=20478

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
Score: 
Related Link: Artist’s Official Site
Hits: 28
Language: english

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US Review: Acting Natural “Acting Natural” EP

16 Nov

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http://michaelsmusiclog.blogspot.com/2017/10/acting-natural-acting-natural-2017-cd.html

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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2017

Looking at the cover of Acting Natural’s self-titled debut EP, it’s easy to guess this trio was influenced by The Beatles. And of course the band’s name makes me think of the Buck Owens song “Act Naturally,” which was famously covered by The Beatles in 1965, with Ringo Starr on lead vocals. And, sure, The Beatles are among this young group’s influences. But they’re not trying to copy that band, and their sound takes inspiration from other places and other decades than the 1960s. They possess a good sense of fun, and they seem to have given a good deal of attention to getting the vocals just right. The band is made up of Eric Carnevale on vocals, guitar, piano, organ and percussion; James David Maney on bass and vocals; and Jesse Leonard on drums and vocals. Originally from Tampa, Florida, they are now based in New York.

The CD’s opening track, “The One,” has a distinct 1960s pop rock sound, both in the music and in the vocal delivery, especially in the way they harmonize. But it is not an attempt to imitate a particular sound, but rather it shows a mix of influences. For example, the cool bass line has a more contemporary feel. And partway through, the song takes on a different groove for an interesting bridge. The lyrics are fairly straightforward: “I don’t wanna play games/I don’t wanna be the fool/I just wanna be the one for you.” And who doesn’t want to hear that? That’s followed by “Nicole,” which has a mellower pop sound. This one has more of a 1980s thing happening, particularly in the chorus.

For me, this EP starts to really get going with “Pairadice,” a fun and catchy tune, its title obviously a play on the word “paradise” – that love is both a glorious thing and a gamble. They play on that idea throughout, with lines like “You can’t win every time” and “Sometimes I think I must have lost my mind.” But it’s the sound of this one that really makes it a memorable track, with elements of disco and a catchy vocal line in the chorus. It’s ultimately a positive-sounding tune. As good as it is, it’s the following track, “Bloom,” that is my personal favorite. This one has a sweeter folk-pop vibe that is absolutely wonderful. And check out the opening lines: “Oh, the snow, the birds and the bees/And the gin and the weed and the love.” I love how they start to establish a sort of cheesy vibe with that first line, “the birds and the bees,” then immediately work against that with the second line, which is a continuation of the thought, but in a more realistic direction. “The years tick by/The toys and the bikes and the games/And the spies, they just don’t shine like they used to/Holidays just aren’t the same.” This is a really good song.

“Early Morning,” to my ears, has the most obvious nod to The Beatles in its sound. “Left my heart open like a door that I kept cracked/Just for you.” The EP then concludes with a fun, solid rock song titled “Missed The Train.” “I missed the train/Wondered why I came/Addicted to the pain/In every memory that we made.” And I love that lead on guitar in the second half of the song.

CD Track List

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

Acting Natural was released on CD on October 27, 2017. It was released digitally on September 22nd.

POSTED BY MICHAEL DOHERTY AT 12:20 AM

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US Review: LINDSAY BELLOWS “WAKE TO DREAM”

15 Nov

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US Review: Lindsay Bellows “Wake To Dream”

14 Nov

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LINDSAY BELLOWS New Debut WAKE TO DREAM EP Showcases a Fresh Sound that Weaves Together Light-Hearted Folk/Pop with Fierce R&B Vocals

13 Nov

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For Immediate Release – Nevada City, CA – In October of 2017, LINDSAY BELLOWS released her debut WAKE TO DREAM EP. The magic of Lindsay’s artistry is immediately apparent when she is on stage: Songs are built from scratch, bringing together melodies, harmonies, and percussion using only her voice and a loop pedal, intimately revealing one part at a time to the audience. Given her background as a one-woman/loop pedal powered songwriter and performer, the WAKE TO DREAM EP started as an all-acapella project; however, during the recording process at Cedarsong Sound Studios in Northern CA, Lindsay and Grammy Award-winning producer Spencer Williams agreed that, without the excitement of building a song from scratch in a live setting, the recordings needed something more. As a result, the artists let imitation lead to innovation as collaborators were invited to add instrumentation to the original vocal loops, finally creating the perfect groove.

On the WAKE TO DREAM EP, Ananda Vaughan rocks the guitar, Jared May slays the bass, Makila Wind adds in the twinkling sounds of a Rhodes and a baby grand piano, Beau Askew jams on his kit, Jason O’Keefe adds layers of percussion, and producer Spencer Williams ties it all together. Williams also mixed the album with input from Jason Kendall, and the project was mastered by Oz Fritz.

Influenced by singers as diverse as Etta James, Stevie Nicks, Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill, Ani DiFranco, Zap Mama, and Adele, LINDSAY BELLOWS crafts authentic and sincere compositions that showcase an artist wise beyond her years. Her music provides an unflinching view of her own journey away from the struggles of the urban rat race, and into the golden foothills and redwoods where she finally found a place to call home. LINDSAY has not always been a professional musician, but spent years working as a management consultant for a large global company in a repeating pattern of waking, working, eating, and sleeping. Her songs share her awakening to a life of greater joy and meaning, and plant seeds of encouragement for others to do the same.

When performing LINDSAY BELLOWS weaves together light-hearted folk/pop with fierce R&B vocals to create music that ignites the spirit and soothes the soul. A naked solo is gradually dressed up with rich vocal layers until this one-woman act begins to sound more like a soaring choir or a pulsing multi-piece band. Whether using her sublime looping technology on her solo sets or fronting a full band, LINDSAY BELLOWS’ revelatory tones sing us out of the city and into the starry skies. All-original songs are driven by her raw, impassioned vocals, along with dynamic instrumentation that blends playful percussion with melodic keyboards and guitar. Her lyrics delve into her intimate personal sojourn and spin a story of unrest – of being caught between two worlds – serving as an inspiring reminder of the power that music can have in transforming our lives.

The WAKE TO DREAM debut release could not have come at a better time. As the world is engulfed in turbulence and chaos, Lindsay’s music gives us two things we need: hope and a way through. Her lush and liberating songs are delivered with verve and vitality — they can range from deep and vulnerable to flirtatious and clever, but never fail to remind us to let our troubles shape us, fuel our activism and our joy, and to dance, dance, dance.

 

The new WAKE TO DREAM EP was released digitally on October 19, 2017, followed by a physical CD release on November 17, 2017.

For more information about LINDSAY BELLOWS, please visit her website and social media pages via https://lindsaybellowsmusic.com/

To order the WAKE TO DREAM EP on iTunes please visit https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/wake-to-dream-ep/id1294563964

To order the WAKE TO DREAM EP from Bandcamp please visit https://lindsaybellows.bandcamp.com/

For Press and Interview inquiries, please contact Billy James of Glass Onyon PR at (828) 350-8158 or glassonyonpr@gmail.com

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US Review: Acting Natural “Acting Natural” from babysue.com

3 Nov

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http://www.babysue.com/2017-Nov-LMNOP-Reviews.html#anchor22385

Acting Natural – Acting Natural (Independently released CD EP, Pop) Refreshingly upbeat and melodic pop music. These guys have a cool sound and neat image and if all the variables fall into place…they could be huge. The band is comprised of Eric Carnevale (lead vocals, guitar), James David Maney (bass, vocals), and Jesse Leonard (drums, vocals). This disc would already be impressive, but even more so considering it is the debut from these charming young gentlemen. Great melodies, infectious rhythms, fine-tuned arrangements…plus vocals to die for (particularly the harmonies). The guys in Acting Natural play classic pop in the truest sense of the word. Six standout cuts here…and they all sound like hits. Our favorites include “The One,” “Bloom,” and “Missed the Train.” Most of these tracks bear similarities to British invasion pop from the 1960s. Totally fun stuff.

November 2017 Comics and Reviews by

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TODAY’S VIDEO SHARE on Women of Substance Radio 10/30/17: “I LOVE YOUR ABS” by JORDAN HURWITZ

2 Nov

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http://www.wosradio.com/video-blog/2017/10/20/todays-video-share-i-love-your-abs-by-jordan-hurwitz

 

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