Independent rock act Ric Zweig and Fresh Air recently announced it will release its new album More Rick Zweig and Fresh Air next month. It is currently scheduled to be released independently June 1. The record has the potential to be a true success for the band thanks to its wide variety of musical and lyrical moods. That is exhibited right off the bat in the album’s opener ‘Rescue Me,’ which will appeal to fans of Carlos Santana, Jack Johnson, Dave Matthews Band and other similar acts. Its follow-up, ‘The Stranger,’ supports that statement even more as it reaches fans of Bruce Springsteen with its collective lyrical and musical content. ‘Here Comes The Rain Revisited’ supports that previously noted statement even more as it takes listeners back to the 1970s with its gentle, almost contemplative guitar-driven arrangement and equally thought-provoking lyrical theme. Each song shows in its own way the reach of Ric Zweig and Fresh Air on its new album. Those songs, together with the rest of the record’s songs, make a whole that is proves to be a breath of fresh, musical air for true music lovers everywhere.
Ric Zweig and Fresh Air’s new album is a record that proves to be, as already noted, a breath of fresh, musical air for true music lovers everywhere. That, again, is due to the wide range of musical and lyrical moods exhibited throughout the record. Its opener presents just one of those varied moods thanks in part to its mix of Carlos Santana-influenced guitar licks and more funk-infused riffs. The juxtaposition of the two sounds (and their combined sound) creates an infectious, celebratory groove that will instantly make listeners want to move. The song’s lyrical content matches that upbeat tempo and vibe exhibited through the song’s musical arrangement. That is evident as Zweig and his band mates sing happily in the song’s chorus, “Baby, baby/Set me free/Maybe, baby/You and me…Baby, baby/Rescue me.” The song’s verses add to that upbeat vibe as Zweig sings, “Gotta get back my beats/Going back to New Orleans/Wanna play some rock and roll.” He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Gonna set up a chair on French Street/Gonna put a tip jar at my feet/I think it’ll be good for my soul/Just to play that rock and roll.” Interestingly enough, Zweig, who is a former judge, also sings about police trying to run off the song’s subject as he sits in his chair, playing his rock and roll. The subject sings that he will just come back another day. It is a statement that imbues such happiness even with its laid delivery. The same can be said of the song’s musical arrangement. When the two are joined for one, the end result is a composition that will put a smile on any listener’s face and heart. By contrast, the slower, more contemplative composition that is ‘The Stranger’ will move listeners in another way, showing even more the wide breadth of musical and lyrical moods exhibited throughout this record.
‘Rescue Me’ is a good way for Ric Zweig and Fresh Air to open its new album. The song is a happy, celebratory piece that will bring joy to any listener. By contrast, the album’s very next song, ‘The Stranger’ is the polar opposite. This is not bad, though. That is because it serves to show through comparison, the wide range of musical and lyrical moods exhibited throughout the record. In regards to its musical arrangement, it instantly conjures thoughts of Bruce Springsteen’s most emotional works with its ethereal, almost brooding guitar line. The simplicity in the arrangement couples with Zweig’s own gravelly vocal delivery to create a sound that one would easily mistake for Springsteen if one were to hear this song without knowing it wasn’t him. What’s more, the arrangement’s secondary guitar line, with its airy and bluesy sound conjures thoughts (in at least this critic’s mind) of songs included in Pink Floyd’s melancholy 1994 album The Division Bell. Yes, that seems like quite the dichotomy of sounds. But somehow it works. The end result is a musical arrangement that will have a deep emotional impact on listeners.
The song’s lyrical content is just as emotionally impacting as its musical arrangement. That is because Zweig seems to be singing here about possibly confronting one’s mortality. That is of course only this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as gospel. That interpretation is made as Zweig sings about “a tall dark stranger looking at me…he says you gotta come with me/I need you now.” He goes on to sing, “That stranger/Why won’t he let me be?/Can’t he see/He should let me be/Instead I think/He gonna be a haunting me/He’s no stranger to me/He’s no stranger to me .” What’s interesting here is the subtle addition of what almost sounds like church bells off in the distance as Zweig sings about the stranger haunting the song’s subject. That may or may not be an intentional timing between that line and said element. But the juxtaposition of the pair definitely leads one to think even more that Zweig’s “stranger’ is perhaps the Grim Reaper. Keeping that in mind, if Zweig is in fact addressing having to come to terms with mortality, then the lyrical manner in which he has broached the subject is definitely original and heart wrenching. It is right up there with some of Johnny Cash’s songs about accepting his mortality before his death at least lyrically. Of course when that emotional impact is joined with that of the song’s musical arrangement, the pairing makes the song in whole one of the album’s hardest hitting compositions, showing even more the wide array of musical and lyrical moods presented throughout Rick Zweig and Fresh Air’s new self-titled album. It is not the last of the songs that exhibits that far-reaching impact. ‘Here Comes The Rain Revisited’ displays even more the record’s wide musical and lyrical diversity.
‘Rescue Me’ and ‘The Stranger’ are both critical additions to Ric Zweig and Fresh Air’s new album. That is because set against one another, they show the diverse musical and lyrical moods exhibited throughout the album in whole. They are not the only songs that serve to show that diversity. As the album progresses, another song – ‘Here Comes The Rain Revisited’ – shows even more that diversity. This song’s musical arrangement takes listeners back to the 1960s and ‘70s with the gentle, laid back guitar-driven groove. It is a direct contradiction to the song’s seemingly melancholy title. The very contradictory nature of the two elements makes the song’s musical arrangement that much more enjoyable. The song’s lyrical content adds to that enjoyment as Zweig sings, “Just set me down/By the river/Just let me down/By the river/You know it’s been a long time/Since I met you baby/Has life been good to you/A lot of time’s gone by/Just take me down/to the ocean/Just bring me down/To the ocean/You know it’s been a long time/You always leave me tongue-tied/I wrote this song for you/I love you just because/Here comes the rain/Take me to the other side/Never been more ready/Here comes the rain.” This doesn’t seem like one of those standard songs about a long-lost love. It seems like someone who is just happy to see a former love. Perhaps this was a relationship that didn’t end as badly as so many countless others apparently have. That would explain why the song is so happy despite a title that doesn’t seem so happy. Keeping that in mind, the seeming upbeat mentality exhibited in these lyrics adds to this song’s enjoyment. When it is joined with the song’s equally upbeat musical arrangement, the whole of the two elements serves to show even more clearly a song that stands out clearly from its counterparts. That helps the song to show even more the wide variety of musical and lyrical moods exhibited throughout More Ric Zweig and Fresh Air. When this song is joined with its counterparts in one whole, they make the album in whole a work that is, as already noted, a breath of fresh, musical air for music lovers everywhere.
Ric Zweig and Fresh Air’s new LP More Ric Zweig and Fresh Air is an impressive new effort from the independent Florida-based outfit. That is because of the variety of musical and lyrical moods exhibited throughout the record as evidenced in each of the songs discussed here. From joyous to deeply contemplative to just happy and points in-between, this record offers plenty for audiences to appreciate. More information on the album is available online now at:
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