Scroll down for reviews of releases by Bowman,
Scott Murray, Jonathan Kuss & The Corporation, Farrah and
Living To Dream
Release Date: September 22, 2004
Since this appears to be Boston's year (curses
reversed and then some), it's not a big surprise to find a
Bostonian making great strides on the rock/pop musical front
as well. Bowman's second self-released album, Living To
Dream, is a sensitive and melodic paean to the daily throes
of complex emotions we often find ourselves caught within.
With great style, the singer/songwriter has elevated his game
with these fourteen new tracks, some of which were produced
or recorded by former Letters To Cleo bassist Scott Reibling,
now a highly respected producer in his own right (American
Hi-Fi, Nina Gordon).
The sound is clean and controlled, yet hard-edged
enough to convey a sense of live performance. Don't let the
boyish good looks of Bill Bowman fool you; he's far more than
a pretty face. This is a man who writes compelling songs that
unravel patiently, building in structure and intensity all
In a smart move, Bowman enlisted a lot of
local musical talent to accompany him. Among those whose talents
are on display here are former Wheat bassist Bob Melanson,
drummer Gabe Cabral (Johnny A.), bassist Ed Valaskus (The
Gentlemen), guitarists Paul Amenta (Wrench) and Charlie O'Neal
(Must), and keyboardists Tom Smith (Elcodrive) and Dave Ramsey
(Swinging Steaks). These musicians come together as a tight
unit, a cohesive whole in the service of Bowman's music.
The radio-ready rocker "Save Me"
opens the proceedings, a man desperate for outside assistance,
searching for an answer that he cannot seem to find. Bowman
shouts out the lyrics atop an infectious melody.
My current favorite track is "Enemy,"
another of those tunes you can't seem to get out of your head.
Again we get a narrator on the verge of unstoppable catastrophe,
stuck in the habit of creating mountains he'll then have to
climb, who wants nothing more than to get out of his own way:
"Sometimes I see the deepest parts of you and me / Sometimes
I see that I'm my own worst enemy."
Bowman goes into a reflective Lennonish mode
with "So Many Ways To Say Goodbye," employing effective
mellotron nuances amid the guitars and drums. Bowman shows
he's no stranger to the feelings behind a sad farewell: "So
many ways to hide it / So many ways to cry / So many ways
to say goodbye."
"Scream" is another tight rocker
that builds gradually into one of those feel-good sing-along
arena rockers, a call to arms to enliven a dull life through
heightened decibels. Similary, "Get Some" also trades
on the rocking tradition, doing a fine job of distilling a
prom night's promises and hormonal desires amid plenty of
Bowman is fond of songs that build gradually.
"Something's Wrong" is an example of this, following
a guitar line into dulcet harmonies and an oft-repeated chorus
(okay, it's fairly obvious that something's gone wrong). Still,
it's a well-wrought track.
"What I Don't Know" is very Beatle-esque
pop. This ultra-melodic number features nice harmonies on
the chorus, but stick around for the stunningly pretty vocal
and guitar-laden middle bridge - you'll be glad you did. It's
phenomenal. Another gorgeous track is "All This,"
spinning out from a simple guitar riff and letting love lead
the way out from a personal darkness.
"Alright" is another reflective
number, examining the lies we tell ourselves about how things
will change: "and you realize that there's more to love,
so you try to keep holdin' on." This one reminds me of
the earlier songs of REM in some respects (though the middle
bridge is very Beatle-esque).
In spite of a number of upbeat rockers, the
disc largely is populated with melodic mid-tempo ballads.
"Give You My Heart Tonight" is a good one, featuring
great bass work from Melanson and sweet guitar fills that
echo the heartfelt emotions of the song.
"Ordinary Life" really spotlights
Bowman's superb emotive vocals (he studied with renowned vocal
coach Mark Baxter). While this is a well-arranged band effort,
parts of the song show how well the man can do with mere vocals
and guitar (and, after all, he did serve his time performing
his songs in the T-stations of Boston). This song bemoans
the fate of an ordinary life, and recommends the dreamer's
alternative: "I'm dreamin' today / Maybe dream my life
/ With no school to learn, no job that earns, phony
gas chamber with a love I'm trying to burn
"Thanksgiving" is another personal
winner in the folk rock storytelling tradition. He's headed
down south (perhaps returning to Maryland after spending time
at Berklee College of Music) and eager to see his small town
boulevard and his old love. Any way you slice this nostalgic
nugget, it's deliciously filling holiday fare.
"Upside Down" covers some similar
subject territory as other songs here, talking about how life
is making him crazy, his head "turning 'round" and
such, eager to start living the dream.
"Nothing" ends the CD in fine fashion,
a full group effort featuring some fine guitar by Bowman and
Paul Amenta, some tasty bass from Ed Valuskas and more fine
drums from Gabe Cabral. The sweet coda mixes sounds from Dave
Ramsay and Bowman.
Bowman intentionally keeps the lyrics abstract
throughout, choosing to capture the introspective essence
behind true tales in each of these songs, yet he avoids crossing
the line into overly maudlin sentiments. While the man can
rock, his storytelling seems firmly rooted in a more folk/balladic
tradition. There also are hints of musical kinship to the
likes of Owsley, Del Amitri, and even some Tom Petty at times.
He's very much in control here, overseeing
a quality product from track to track, with no filler. What's
more, his beautifully expressive voice elevates the songs
above the fray of merely good pop/rock. Bowman, Scott Reibling
and Drew Allison manage to capture the charisma and talent
that accompanies the fine songwriting.
Talent like Bowman's deserves to be heard.
With Living To Dream, Bowman successfully reverses
the musical curse of the sophomore jinx, and does so with
melodic talent and mature aplomb. This is a confident, accomplished
album, and one that should bring the man well-deserved acclaim
(no need to wait 86 years for that, please).
(Slow Town Productions)
Release Date: ?
It's always a pleasant surprise when one
encounters the rare debut artist who bursts onto the scene
with fully crafted songs that sport infectious melodies alongside
intelligent lyrics. Such is the case with the talented Scott
Murray and his mellow initial collection Stutter. Here
are ten impressive songs with clean, layered soundscapes courtesy
of engineer John Mark Painter (Ben Folds Five). Murray writes
some of the songs himself, and co-writes others with guitar
players Chris Donohue and John Mallory.
Right from the get-go, there's a refreshing
sense of intelligence and candor to the music. It's fairly
obvious Murray isn't your typical insular musician-type. Rather,
Scott has worked as a volunteer in Africa, South America,
Eastern Europe and the jungles of Papua, New Guinea, helping
to build schools, hospitals, and bridges when not spending
time with local orphans. He translates some of this worldly
experience into his songwriting, and it also is evident in
his occasionally plaintive vocals.
For the most part, this is simple and sweet
listening, acoustic-based guitar pop that goes down easily.
That most of these pleasant songs come with intelligent messages
is an added bonus.
Painter has assembled an impressive team
of Nashville musicians to accompany Murray on this debut.
In addition to hit-maker Mallory and Donohue, Ken Lewis and
Sean McWilliams share drum duties, Jamie Kenney handles keyboards,
Andrew Ramsey (and Painter himself) add electric guitars,
and Darrin Brumley, Laura Donohue, Rebecca Brown and Diana
Beach divide and share background vocals.
The disc opens with "Dry Bones,"
a lovely melody enhanced by sweet instrumentation and harmonies,
but more importantly, with meaningful lyrics that actually
follow the parameters of meter and rhyme. Murray wows me with
his simple ways of capturing the spirit of belief beyond faded
hope that there are chances yet to come: "Brittle dry
dull as sin / I'm suffocating beneath this skin / this thread
of hope is wearing thin / but it keeps me hanging on / Heaven
come and give to me / a heart of flesh and eyes to see / from
this wasteland rescue me / before I'm too far gone."
Painter uses accordion accents to give a
continental flavor to "Breathe Into Me." Again,
there's a prayer-like reverence to Murray's God-inspired lyrics,
but they don't seem so heavy within the context of the dulcet
music: "I've heard there's room for heaven inside a human
heart / but mine is full of broken toys and ugly modern art
/ I mean it's one hell of a rummage sale as anyone can see
/ but if you'll only take it, you can have it all for free
/ Breathe into me / these lifeless conceptions need to taste
The worldly beats that drive "Freedom's Chains"
recall India or parts of the Middle East. There's an exotic
air to this poignant message of how we often are blinded by
our own freedoms, and again, a pervasive intelligence to the
lyrical phrasings ("love's last gasp a wistful whisper").
It's back to friendly Americana sounds with
"Shine." Here Murray takes on love, and its contrary
nature: "Love can blind you, love can make you see /
love can bind you, love can set you free / love can remind
you of who you want to be / if love's light finds you, let
it shine on me." There's a nice Bacharach-style horn
accompaniment here and a warm accordion accent as well.
In the uber-catchy "Gun To Your Head,"
Murray serves up a Dylan-esque take in censuring those who
choose to play the blame game rather than accept the responsibility
for the state they're in and the choices they make in not
doing what they want. Something about this song's vocals reminds
me of George Usher.
Perhaps the standout song in this very good
collection is the political gem "Belgrade Station,"
wherein Murray exposes the hypocrisy of our foreign involvements:
"For the sake of democracy / we create a bloody tragedy
/ because it's good for the economy of the land of the free."
His descriptions of these moments in a Yugoslavian summer
are spot-on, chilling and eye-opening.
"Love For The Sake Of Love" is
another well-informed lyric couched within a pleasantly disarming
melody, this one taking on the free feelings following the
"death of love."
Murray (along with Donohue and Mallory) has
a knack for creating compelling aural soundscapes, songs that
are well crafted and built for the long haul. Such is the
case with the lengthy ballad "Long Way Down," which
again finds Murray in semi-religious mode, espousing a Job-like
philosophical stance, maintaining that sometimes you have
to lose it all, head all the way down, before you can find
hope and the light of heaven. It's a noble position - solidly
against materialism - and one that Murray no doubt has experienced
One of the strongest songs here is the infectious
"In The Name of Love." Murray's talking about the
love of God, but his superior lyrics can be applied to human
love as well (for the most part): "You broke like the
morning / woke me from my dreams of who I am / gave me a glimpse
of what I could be / The vision has faded now like a dying
sun into the sea / and I can't remember the beauty I have
The album closes with the tribal rhythms
of "Leaving The Night." Once again, Murray's message
of redemption through finding God's light is barely cloaked
in clever words - he leaves the dungeon of dark desire and
ultimately becomes "lost in your love; I am found."
While some of these messages seem a bit heavy-handed, they
really seem less so in the context of the remarkably pleasant
music and the extraordinary arrangements. John Mallory and
Chris Donohue display a deft production hand, exhibiting a
strong sense of what makes a song work well. Further, Scott
Murray's innate intelligence makes the lyrics work on levels
far beyond the obvious "Love God" preaching.
Here is a man who has been many places, seen
special things, and has the talent to translate those experiences
into well-fashioned songs. Contrary to its title, Stutter
is a smooth, confident debut of superbly executed lush and
mellow sounds from a talented singer/songwriter who comes
home from traveling the world and, in the studio, delivers
the musical goods.
Jonathan Kuss & The Corporation
(Not Cool Records)
Release Date: July 15, 2004
Segue, the sophomore release from
Rockford, Illinois' own Jonathan Kuss & The Corporation,
serves up a dozen songs that defy easy categorization yet
remain more than worth a listen. There's a loose and dirty
bar-band feel to much of the album's music, a casual nonchalance
that lends itself well to the emotional songs and voice of
Mr. Kuss. He's a cross between Jakob Dylan (Wallflowers) and
Adam Duritz (Counting Crows), following a sort of amplified
rootsy folk-rock muse with a tight backing band that often
veers into Southern rock territory.
After leaving the band Silt, Kuss recorded
a solo EP with several studio session players who decided
to stay on and become "The Corporation." They are:
Nick Auriemmo on drums and percussion, Jeffro on bass, Jim
Westin Jr. on keys and a guest spot from Mark Dimonica on
sitar. Kuss, a former art student from Illinois State University,
handles the vocals and guitars.
The band works well as a unit, and Jimmy
"the" Johnson (Cheap Trick, The Pimps) keeps the
production intimate, as if the band is playing in front of
you in some smoky room late at night. The first listen through
you get a sense of rock competence; with repeated listens,
subtle musical nuances reveal themselves. There's a lot here
to digest if you have time to live with it for a while.
The CD opens with "Superficial,"
a decently rocking number, in which Mr. Kuss works his vocal
magic, spitting out phrases with venom and spirit: "I
chased it down with prozac and empathy / then I would soak
them in the water that fell / I would step back and take a
look at myself / I would hold on and wish you well while you
lay there." It's suitably infectious, with likable harmonies
and strength to its message.
"Where Everything Glitters" finds
Kuss and The Corporation starting out in more of an acoustic
folkie mode (almost Guster-like), then they kick it up a notch.
This pleasant song is catchy too, and features some fine guitar
fills, amid some semi-obscure lyrics. It's about wanting to
be someone famous and wanting to take "his people"
along for the ride.
Kuss and company hit Counting Crows-realm
with the song "Revolution, Mother!" It's an intriguing
upbeat number, but instead of Mr. Jones we get Mrs. Abigale.
Still, the commendable enthusiasm encourages you to get in
line and join up with this revolution.
We get a similar musical feel to the drug-story
behind "Ten Scrillas." I'm not sure these are lyrics
worthy of musical accompaniment, but the song sounds decent
"Visible From The Moon" is more
of a ballad, a spare arrangement that delves into some pretty
descriptions of love and friendship, amidst emotive vocals.
The drums are almost military at times, and there's a fine
guitar lead to boot. "No Thanks" is another song
where Kuss lets loose with extended guitar solos.
A standard upbeat rocker, "All My Horses"
sounds good (and again, allows for some fine guitar), but
sports lyrics that don't hold up to any close scrutiny. Sometimes
Kuss gives you the feeling that he's carried off on a stream
of consciousness (and it's best to just let him go there,
rather than try to make sense of it all).
"One Hundred Years" almost attempts
to take on some philosophical issues in a totally rudimentary
way, but the upbeat song and enthusiasm recall The Plimsouls
on this particular track, and that's a good thing.
"Beautiful Addiction" builds slowly into a nice
song, but again, features some fairly inscrutable and disappointing
lyrics. "Luck" expands the sound a bit with some
organ additions and a reverb chamber for some vocals; "Cherry"
takes the bar band song and lifts it into the psychedelic
realm via the use of sitar (and I quite like the results).
The album closes with "Tribes,"
sort of a different sound for Kuss and the band. This five-minute
tribal end piece starts slowly, and features feedback noise
and backward loops. It's a much more modern sound, disjointed
at times, but infused with energy and anger that eventually
returns to more recognizable ground when the guitars kick
in. I'm not sure if this song belongs with the others, but
it's a powerful close to the music.
Jonathan Kuss and The Corporation are fun
to listen to, and Segue offers up several good songs.
While I'd argue there's plenty of room for future lyrical
growth, this still offers a lot of good music (so long as
you don't require profundity). Kuss has a winning voice and
he and his band execute these songs in a way that has you
feeling as though you're in a smoke-filled bar, hearing them
live and thoroughly enjoying them. While not every song here
is a winner (and there's some repetition to the overall sound),
there's enough promise shown to warrant looking out for whatever
*Segue* next segues into.
U.K. Release Date: November 1, 2004
U.S.: Available as Import
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the new
wave of British pop was a kind of musical renaissance, bringing
to the fore a number of highly melodic, energetic performances
from the likes of Squeeze, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, Nick
Lowe and others. Things were simpler then, the ties skinnier,
dancing more a matter of jumping in place to the beat.
Now, in these far more complex times, there's
a fond nostalgia for those sounds of yore (see Glenn Tilbrook
in concert and count the Squeeze songs sung or note the recent
reformation of Joe Jackson's original band lineup and subsequent
global tour). While not likely to find much radio airplay,
those old sweet sounds still sound pretty good all these years
Farrah is a novelty in that they choose to
master and update that great era's sounds with new music that
captures the charm and spirit of what came before. Their Moustache
CD was chock full of historic harmonies in the service of
old-fashioned bouncy and fun songs (crafted the right way,
with middle bridges and such).
Now, several years later, they've got a follow-up
album that's a tour-de-force. Me Too, completed in
late summer of 2003 (and previously only available in Spain
and Japan), finally has arrived in the U.K. courtesy of Lojinx
Records. It features twelve new songs (and one more hidden
track) that are every bit as good as you'd hope, and perhaps
The sounds are a bit more diverse on this
new collection, and the band has replaced Mike Walker with
Aussie Michelle Margherita on bass and backing vocals. While
there's greater range in the instrumentation and production
values, singer/multi-instrumentalist Jez Ashurst continues
to flex his songwriting muscles in ways that impress. Andy
Campbell challenges Ashurst in the number of instruments covered
(guitar, keyboards, vocals, etc.) and Mike Hopkins handles
drums and percussion.
Farrah play with poise and panache, serving
up clean power pop of the highest order. Their well-arranged
infectious melodies feature smart (often wry) lyrics that
skewer our world. These three-minute guitar pop jewels are
executed with what seems to be effortless ease.
The CD opens with the ska-laced "Tongue
Tied," the charming tale of a fan (er, stalker) who's
never quite able to say what he wants to his star-love: "I've
read every one of your interviews / I know you think your
arms are fat / And you like cats and fine wines / Tongue tied
/ I want you / And you know I always will / Inside, so shy
/ If only you knew what a state I'm in." Jez delivers
it in clear voice and offhand delivery, and the song itself
makes you want to dance along.
Next up we get a tongue-in-cheek anthem for
couch potatoes the world over with "Daytime TV."
In this nifty short upbeat ditty, we are urged to reflect
upon Jerry's thought for the day. It's great musical fun,
regardless (and features a great rhythm section).
Fans of Squeeze will delight in hearing "He
Gives An Inch," perhaps the best Squeeze song not written
by Squeeze (eking a Jump, Little Children song from the top
spot in that competition). This ultra-catchy chorus will have
you singing along: "He gives an inch / she takes a mile
/ She's got him running round in circles / trying to catch
the tale she's telling / He gives an inch / she takes a mile
/ She's got him wrapped around her finger now."
While we're on the topic of nostalgia, Farrah
salutes one of their predecessors by covering Joe Jackson's
classic "It's Different For Girls." Here Jez and
Michelle provide a quiet and respectful version.
"The One That Got Away" covers
more-standard territory, a man lamenting his options in the
wake of a failed relationship: "I'll reinvent myself
just like Madonna does / join and gym and lose the charity
shop clothes / as soon as I can face tomorrow." Be sure
to notice the theremin here (and yes, it's a real one).
Another bittersweet tale (and one that references
a fairly obscure John Lennon quotation) is "This Is My
Life." Time and compromise have turned his reality into
something remote from his dreams and ideals: "This is
my life / It's smaller than I thought somehow / This is my
life / It didn't quite work out the way I planned." The
chorus background harmonies make this into the kind of clever
pop gem perfected by groups like The Rosenbergs.
What at first listen might seem a romantic
ballad in "Hopelessly Devoted" (and that interpretation
works well enough), is revealed to be otherwise when you consider
that Jez Ashurst has written a love song to beer. Truly, he
has - and it's sweet enough to make you plenty thirsty for
Perhaps my favorite song here (and it's a
hard call to make) is "First And Last." This poignant
song tells of a guy who holds on to the first woman who ever
dumped him: "Everybody's got a cross to bear / Something
that we carry from the past / They hammer in the nails and
leave them there / You were my first, you were the last."
It's an admirable rhyme scheme in a memorable song, just more
proof that Jez Ashurst is a great songwriter.
"Half As Strong" is a little jazzy
number, exploring the weariness of the world traveler reflecting
back (with some guest trumpet courtesy of Jane Hattee). "Wake
Up" starts out with a bare acoustic demo then "wakes
up" into a full-fledged studio treatment. It's a noble
sentiment, urging us to face the day and wake up to what we're
"The Last Word" is another winning
song, homage to one who loves the sound of his/her own voice.
It's a little jazzier, a little more lounge-flavored, if you
will, than most of what's here. Farrah are quite accomplished
musicians, and you get a sense that they enjoy what they play
The pretty closer "High And Low"
is a dulcet acoustic number, pondering life itself, the passage
of time and friends, etc. For those willing to wait, there's
a short hidden punk rocker about eight minutes into the final
track, most likely entitled "Nigel's Got It Coming To
Him." It's perhaps a nice answer track to XTC's "Making
Plans For Nigel," though it's only a minute and a half.
Jez Ashurst is a talent to be reckoned with
(and he does it all with only one lung). He and the band work
hard - having been touring Japan, Spain and France on a regular
basis - and now they're back in the studio working on new
material for what I hope will be another fine album not too
far down the road. In the face of regular adversity (record
label bankruptcy, an exploding van, lawsuits from a chocolate
manufacturer, a mistaken association with a trouser brand),
Farrah still manages to come out ahead.
Me Too is the kind of album you rarely
find these days - a pleasure to listen to from the opening
track to its close. Farrah gives you that old-fashioned Brit-pop
sound - clean, multi-layered production, great vocals and
harmonies surrounded by fine high-octane guitar, keyboards,
bass and drums. It truly is a ray of light-hearted fun and
sunshine on what's usually a fairly dark current musical horizon.
Treat yourself to the charming power pop insouciance that
is *Me Too* - don't you deserve it?
Release Date: ?
It's a fairly simple story. It's July of
1999, and two twenty-somethings are in a Mexican restaurant,
bemoaning the current state of rock music. By meal's end,
a pact was made to put together a band to solve this dilemma
- and thus (give or take a few practice years to perfect a
sound) Edmund's Crown was born. This Nashville-based trio
released a 7-song EP in February, 2000, and then released
a full-length eponymous effort sometime after. Collected
is a compilation of the best songs from those two previous
efforts, along with two new additional tracks. If smooth,
modern guitar-driven power pop is your thing, this is as good
as it gets - this CD is "all killer, no filler."
Greg Pope (guitars, lead vocals) has a knack
for writing the kind of infectious hook-laden ear candy that
goes down easily and lasts long after the disc has stopped
spinning these three-to-four minute gems. Several of these
songs already have made their way onto soundtracks of various
television shows and it's no great surprise. *Collected* delivers
a baker's dozen tracks that all seem very radio ready and
Formerly a member of CCM band Eager, Pope
has kept up his songwriting skills, and has joined forces
with musical pal David Sprouse (drums & percussion) and
former Eager fan Jeremy Richards (bass, backing vocals) to
become Edmund's Crown.
The CD opens with the lovely "Made To
Soar," a winning harmony-rich tale of two folks trying
to follow their individual dreams (hers is to be an actress,
his is to be a rock star) against the odds: "In this
life, I can't be meant for this / yeah, there must be something
more / to this life / I can't be meant for this / I know I
was made to soar." They face adversity, but stick with
it and ultimately triumph, never looking back.
"Complete Me" is another charmer,
a fetching melody and lyrics all about how love can help one
to win the rat race: "What I want, what I need I may
never receive / what I'm trying to be I might never achieve
/ when I look at myself, I don't like what I see / but darling,
how you complete me." Pope lets his guitar skills show
to great advantage here.
One of my favorites here is the uber-catchy
"New Day," a song that'll find its way into your
brain inadvertently. With an omniscient narrator, we are given
a brand new day in which to look at life a brand new way -
this is power pop as the gods intended it.
Betrayal is the subject of "Back Door,"
another fetching melody that is well-arranged and tightly
executed, asking the musical question: "Are you cheating
our life away?" Miscommunication in a relationship (couched
in pleasant guitar sounds and harmonies) is the key to "Until
You See Me Go."
Sure the troubles of the lovelorn are typical fodder for pop/rock,
but Edmund's Crown cover this ground so expertly, it becomes
more than forgivable. Witness the perfection that is "Only
One," wherein loneliness is treated to a sweetly infectious
melody. Or give a listen to "I'm On, She's Off"
for a great depiction of a problematic modern relationship
wherein two busy folks can't seem to ever get it together
except to say goodbye over and over again.
The fickle inequity of fame versus talent
(there are many who have the talent who never see the fame)
is the poignant subject matter of "Shining Stars,"
citing a host of the undiscovered whose stars are "much
too far away to see." "What's On My Mind" speaks
out for being outspoken: "If I can't say what's on my
mind / what's the use of talking?"
There remain small hints of Greg Pope's past
in Christian music here and there. In the song "Scapegoat"
there's this: "who took a swing at your pride / gave
you another reason to brush religion aside" and in the
beautiful song "Your Way Mine" there's mention of
turning the other cheek. These understated messages don't
overpower the music; they remain subtle, barely noticeable.
Pope, Sprouse and Richards get a chance to rock out on the
delightfully upbeat "Where You Find Love," an exuberant
studio number that features a bit of live performance as well.
The CD closes with "Higher Than Me," one of the
prettiest modern songs you're likely to hear. This is further
proof of the skills of this trio, though by this point in
the disc, I don't expect there are many non-believers left.
The three young men who comprise Edmund's
Crown are accomplished musicians who take great care to get
the details right. When two of them met that fateful day in
1999 and discussed their disenchantment with modern music,
they knew they could do better. They have.
Pope's songs are melodic and memorable, and
the group presents them through arrangements that keep the
music both fresh and accessible. In the end, the listener
has only to sit back and succumb to the smoothness of the
sounds, the harmonies, the musicianship, the nuances and hooks
and insightful lyrics. All told, it's quite an achievement.
Collected is a powerful and confident collection of
classically pleasant pop/rock that seems instantly familiar
and totally enjoyable.
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