Thursday, March 12, 2009

I Am Merely Sand - Daniel Christian

Combining atmospheric guitars with an almost roots-rock/alt/country vibe, Daniel Christian delivers on I Am Merely Sand.

The albums opener, New Sun Rising spouts tight vocal harmonies, circular and swirling guitars, mixed with a Nashville-esque gloss. Estella glides more easily with simple instrumentation, pianos, drums, and strings. The song has a James Taylor quality to it - these are certainly some great expectations for Christian. Flashlight Tag is a simple story from childhood. Christian does a great job of translating story into song.

I Am Merely Sand is a simply done, 10-track album. There's not much flash to it musically. But if you're more into lyrics than instrumentation and production, you'll definately be a fan.

RATING: 3.5 of 5 stars

Stories from Sammy Louis - Shake Anderson

Prepare to be soothed in a very real way. Shake Anderson walks you through 11 tracks of mellow, pop songs, executed precisely, and with real swagger.

Standouts include, Set it Off; it draws a picture in your mind as its being performed. Its a vivid soundscape that will set you in a good mood. Tumblin' Down, a soulish singer/songwriter tune complete with rhodes pianos and gospel choir. Sold Me Down the River is a more upbeat song straight out of Motown. I swear I could sing the chorus on first listen - it was just that catchy and perfect.

Stories from Sammy Louis has a lot of love in it and a lot of accute care. Each instrument seems delicately placed, never overstepping its role. The record works and its a real joyful ride.

For more information about Shake Anderson, check him out online:

RATING: 4 of 5 stars

Modern Science

It takes about 10 seconds to realize these guys have it! Think Depeche Mode meets Stevie Wonder meets Peter Gabriel. Its a throwback to electro-funk combined with driving rock underlings - and it works.

Look Where Your Walkin' screams from the speakers extremely tightly and whether you're a fan of the genre or not, I think you'll be drawn in. I'm the One kicks off with tight bass and percussive beats that will get you moving. It has the feel of a modernized Jackson 5 tune. Baby Please has a motown feel that works while intensely rocking, "you're love has got a hold on me."

Later tracks like Desperately, rock a little more and I think are their more original and up-to-date sounding tracks. Its a darker pop-rock melody that would fit perfectly in a club. My favorite track is Can't Go Wrong, a poppy rock song that utilizes the electro-funk sounds that makes Modern Science unique, but also modernizes the sound that I think will really sell.

Its a great album that i highly recommend to any fan of good music!

RATING: 5 of 5 stars

Almost One e.p.

Almost One started this indie endeavor nearly 5 years ago. And today, the 4 track e.p. translates nicely with anthemic themes, simplistic writing and recording, world music influences, but overall very nicely done.

This Night Could be True has the elements of a Jellyfish song while it utilizes some more world music themes and instrumentation. The Line however is a very basic, singable pop-song, with cowbell galore.

Things slow down on Standing Still, a piano driven song, stripped down to its essentials. The harmonies really stand out as a highlight on this track.

Almost One is clearly an indie act in the making. Watch for these guys.
RATING: 3 of 5 stars