"Eric's Reviews"

by Eric Harabadian
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Gerald Bair • We All Fall Down

Mayhem Records
I once read an interview with a musician who said any song of any substance should stand on its own, played simply on an acoustic guitar. Well, that adage specifically applies here as Gerald Bair has an album's worth of acoustic-based gems rounded out by a stellar band and superb production. He is also a fine lyricist as songs like "Hangin' Out With Elvis," "I Feel Like," "Driving Out Of Rockaway," and " I Don't Want to Talk About That" will attest. Many of the tunes have a rootsy, twangy-guitar rock feel to them but remain modern in attitude and scope. Bair is an artist on the cusp of real greatness!

Caprice International Presents Millenium Preview and Worldwide Radio Singles for 2000

Caprice International Records
One thing that can be said for Caprice International artists, they sure are diversified!!! What other compilation features songs about Y2K, follows that with traditionally styled Christmas tunes, continues with Gospel material and rounds things out with adult contemporary, modern country and jazz standards.

The printing on the disc was really difficult to read and with twenty songs included, there are a lot of artists covered. But suffice to say the Gospel, modern country and swingin' jazz tracks were among my favorities.

Caprice never ceases to amaze and amuse with their cadre of quirky, unique, and, for the most part, satisfying talent.

Bozzio, Levin and Stevens • Situation Dangerous

Magna Carta Records
What you have here, essentially, is a supergroup featuring one of the hottest rhythm sections in rock, jazz, pop or progressive paired with an exceptional guitarist in Steve Stevens.

Continuing their collective work, they dive right into heavy progressive waters with the hyperkinetic Led Zeppelinish opener "Dangerous." From there, it's on to the moody and lyrically ethereal " Endless." Other treats include the odd-metered free-for-all " Crash," the astounding flamenco burner " Tziganne," and the texturally syncopated " Lost."

Terry Bozzio, Tony Levin and Stevens are three contemporary masters at the top of their game. True fans of all things adventurous, both musically and culturally, should get their hands on this impressive release!!!!!

Alan Horvath • Busy Being Born

Horvath is a singer-songwriter who composes unique, well-crafted melodies and, while accompanied by his warm and delicate acoustic guitar, delivers them in a sincere and captivating mellow toned rasp. Some have compared him to Jim Croce or Richie Havens, and they would be accurate, but Horvath is no copycat impressionist. He is an artist who writes modern adult-oriented hits destined to become contemporary classics. Strong words perhaps, but check out Alan for yourself and then you make the call. As his bio states, " Horvath is acoustic rock...... for real"!

Nyree • Bare

Belle Records, P.O. Box 888, Sonoma, CA 95476
Bare is the title of raven-haired Nyree’s latest release, and what an appropriate one at that. Mostly because the music is stripped down to the basic essentials -- piano, acoustic guitar and voice. But, between her beautiful and far reaching vocal range combined with her superb instrumental prowess, Nyree draws you in with her emotional and spiritually moving songs. Bare is a very quiet album, perfect for lazy afternoons, early mornings or late at night when you want to shut out the noisy world and be at one with your thoughts. By all means let Nyree provide the soundtrack for your escape!

Inside Scarlet • 3 Song CD Demo

Straight outta "Sin City" this estrogen fueled modern rock quartet hits you with a heavy blend of melody and "Hole" influenced riffage. Having said that, however, the band takes its music to even greater heights! The lineup of Sharay Larsen and Heather Tampa on vocals, guitar and bass, along with Mike Cromer on guitar and vocals and Brian Festone on drums is a killer combination. Inside Scarlet has a radio-ready sound, great songs and, if there is any justice in the music business, a clear shot at major success!

The Republic • Demo CD

P.O. Box 1075, Temple City, CA 91780
These guys blend traditional guitars, bass and drums with electronics and sequencers for a sound that owes more to Gary Numan or Ultravox than the modern industrial bombast of, say, Nine Inch Nails. Many of the songs on this disc begin with an electronically induced pattern and then kick in with a groove-oriented thunder. The Republic have a heavy, yet articulate sound that will move you on the dance floor as well as appeal to your melodic sense.

The Warren Commission • Now in Session, Vol. 1

Jazz Shop Label, P.O. Box 236, Keego Harbor, MI 48320
The trio of Detroiters Suzi Marsh (vocals), Daniel Warren (keys/bass) and Steve Adams (drums/percussion) is most impressive and swings like there’s no tommorrow! "Now in Session" is chock full of classic and timeless jazz standards from "Stompin’ At the Savoy" and "It Don’t Mean a Thing" to Latin sizzlers "Song For My Father" and "How Insensitive." All are great musicians and Marsh, in particular, really soars in her interpretations of songs both cover and original. Jazz and swing fans would be well served to scout out this fine release!

4Front • Gravity

Spec Records, 161 S. Ridgedale Ave., East Hanover, NJ 07936-2512
4Front is comprised of New Jersey-based musicians Zak Rizvi (guitar and keys), Frank LaPlaca (bass) and Joe Bergamini (drums) with some help, at various points, from some of their studio friends. If you are a fan of hot fusion-oriented rock and roll with a slight cinematic or symphonic feel you gotta check these guys out! All thirteen tracks crackle with an energy and passion that takes you from Satriani influenced lead runs to romantic piano flourishes this side of Rachmaninoff. And while progressive bands are sometimes known for their instrumental self-indulgence, 4Front never loses sight of intelligible hooks and melodies. Oh yes, my friends, you’re in for a real treat as I give these guys my highest recommendation!

DePoet and the Monkey

DePoet Music, 149 Ave. A, Apt.#4R, NY,NY 10009
 David " DePoet" Depietro is a classically trained musician who employs all his skills of arranging, composing and, of course, playing to great effect on this album. The music is modern rock, to be sure, but simply encapsulating it into such a limited category would be a gross disservice. The melodies, rhythms and hooks are plentiful on this disc, as well as clever and quirky use of backing vocals, programming and sequencing and wind and string instruments. My personal favorites are "Little Orange Room," the moody "Last Thanksgiving Day," the manic "I’m Not Broken" and the Beatlesque "Daydream Fantasy." If you’ve got a little anarchy in your soul but crave something with a more melodic and intelligent bent, check this out!

The Migs • The Migs

The Migs' philosophy must be "let’s hit them with everything we’ve got." And "everything" is the optimum word here. From the opener "Sweet and Sour’s" sixties pop feel to the countryish "1600 Armadillos" and the jazzy lounge groove of "Honolulu" you’ve got one wild and wacky bunch at work here. Throw in a punk tune, a funk number, some synthesizer noodling and a Tijuana Brass-type song and you’ve got one hell of a party. Can I be invited?!

Brian Perry • Intentionally

First Go Round Productions, P.O. Box 11046, New Orleans, LA 70181
Armed with clever, thoughtful lyrics, beautiful melodies and a rich expressive voice, singer-songwriter Brian Perry astounds with a buoyant and commanding presence. His songs are personal introspective observations of life, yet are every bit accessible to the common man or woman. From topics of daily survival, loneliness, love and longing and chasing one’s dreams Perry covers much of the human experience and does it with class, humility and candor. While there are many fine contributions from all the musicians involved on this album, kudos go out, in particular, to backing vocalist Jennifer Daniels. She’s the perfect counterpart to Brian, sparking the tunes she appears on with an explosive and emotive glow.

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