Mika’s ‘Sinfona Pop’ Is An Orchestral Perfomance Unlike Any Other

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Popular musical acts using string (and sometimes orchestral) arrangements in their songs is nothing new in the music industry today.  It is a practice that has been going on as far back as one can recall.  However the actual performance of a popular musical act with orchestral organization isn’t so new.  It wasn’t until the past twenty years or so that audiences started to see any major musical act join forces with an orchestra for a live performance, let alone a recorded performance.  Elton John has done it.  So have Metallica and KISS.  They are just some of the acts that have added an orchestra to their music for live performances.  It goes without saying that there are quite a few more out there that have.  One of that mass is pop star Mika’s new recording Sinfonia Pop.  Mika (a.k.a. Michael Holbrook Penniman, Jr.) recently released his new live orchestral recording.  The recording is just the latest in a long line of accolades for the British-born singer-songwriter.  Over the course of just four albums, Mika has sold more than 10 million records worldwide, and going Gold or Platinum in 32 countries.  That is quite the resume.  And this recording is sure to add to it as there is plenty to say to its positive beginning with its set list.  That will be discussed shortly.  The actual performance of the songs is just as important to note in this recording and will be discussed later.  The interviews with both Mika and conductor Simon Leclere are equally important to the recording as the performance and its set list.  Each element is important in its own right to the recording’s presentation.  Altogether they make Sinfonia Pop a solid live recording from the internationally known pop star.  They also show collectively why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.

Mika’s new live recording Sinfonia Pop is a solid live recording from the internationally renowned pop star.  It is also more proof as to why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.  This is due in part to the concert’s featured set list.  The nearly two-hour concert runs twenty-one songs deep and lifts very liberally from all four of his current studio recordings.  The most well represented of his albums is his 2007 debut Life in Cartoon Motion.  It is represented by no fewer than 6 songs—‘Grace Kelly,’ ‘Love Today,’ ‘Relax (Take It Easy),’ ‘Any Other World,’ Happy Ending,’ and ‘Over My Shoulder.’  The Boy Who Knew Too Much is the least represented of Mika’s records here, with only two songs—‘Rain’ and ‘Toy Boy’—being pulled from that album.  The Origin of Love is represented by a total of eight songs.  They are ‘Origin of Love,’ ‘Stardust,’ ‘Make You Happy,’ ‘Underwater,’ ‘Overrated,’ ‘Love You When I’m Drunk,’ ‘Heroes,’ and ‘Elle me dit.’  Most interesting of those tracks is the last of them—‘Elle me dit.’  That is because this song was not included in the album’s standard release.  It was included as a bonus track in the album’s French and Italian release.  In other territories it was only included in the album’s deluxe edition.  No Place In Heaven rounds out the concert’s set list.  It is represented here by ‘Last Party,’ ‘Good Guys,’ ‘Ordinary Man,’ and ‘Boum Boum Boum.’  The latter of those tracks was only included in the album’s French and Italian release.  So for many, getting to experience the song here, much as with ‘Elle me dit’ might actually be the first time hearing the song for many audiences.  The concert’s opening ‘Overture’ is a completely new composition, bringing the total song count up to twenty-one.  While the chosen set list is itself extensive, the process of picking out songs for the concert was just as interesting to learn about.  That is discussed by conductor Simon Leclere n the recording’s bonus interviews.  It will be discussed later.  Staying on the topic at hand, the concert’s set list is extensive to say the very least.  Two of Mika’s albums were obviously far more represented than the other two.  Regardless, he did include some a pair of exclusive songs in his performance here from those two lesser represented.  That and the more represented albums combine to make the show’s set list an important part of the recording’s presentation in its own right.  It is not the only important element of the recording’s presentation, either.  Mika’s performance, and that of the orchestra, are just as important to note here as the show’s set list.

The set list that is featured in Mika’s new live recording is important in its own right to the recording’s presentation.  That is because it lifts from all four of his albums so far.  It even includes a pair of songs that were only made available in exclusive editions of two of those albums, and an original composition in the concert’s opening ‘Overture.’  The end result is a set list that runs nearly two hours (an hour and forty-nine minutes to be exact) and twenty-one songs deep.  It is just on of the recording’s most important elements.  The actual performance by Mika and the orchestra is just as important to note in the recording’s presentation as its set list.  The actual performance is so important to note because it stands out so starkly from the other mainstream/classical mash ups that are out there.  It doesn’t come across as just another mainstream act performing in front of an orchestra.  Instead at times it feels as if one is watching Mika and company performing numbers from some major musical stage production.  Obviously they are not from said productions.  But the arrangements, when coupled with Mika’s own powerhouse performance, makes each song feel (and sound) like it.  That is a testament both to Mika’s own vocal talents and those of the musicians performing with him.  Staying on that train of thought the orchestra members actually exhibit a certain enjoyment in performing just as much as Mika.  That can’t exactly be said of some other orchestral groups who have performed with other well-known acts.  In those cases it is obvious that the musicians in question are just going through the motions.  The fact that the musicians in this orchestra were clearly enjoying themselves just as much as Mika, makes the performance that much more enjoyable to experience even in a home setting.  On a side note, the performance in whole is powerful to say the very least.  It sounds great on any standard hi-def monitor when the monitor is set to “Music” setting.  Those with a home theater system will get an even more powerful experience.  Keeping this in mind, it should be clear why the performance both by Mika and the orchestra is so important to this recording’s presentation.  It still is not the recording’s last notable element.  The bonus interviews with Mika and conductor Simon Leclere is just as important to note here as the performance and the chosen set list.

The set list featured in Sinfonia Pop and the performance put on by Mika and the orchestra are both key in their own right to the recording’s presentation.  The set list is so important to note because all four of Mika’s albums are represented here, even with a pair of exclusive songs.  The performance by all involved comes across like a collection of songs from any number of major musical stage productions.  Considering this, one could even see Mika performing in said musicals considering his vocal talents and the talents of the orchestra’s members.  As important as both elements are to this recording’s presentation they are not its only important elements.  The interviews with Mika and conductor Simon Leclere are just as important to the presentation as those previously noted elements.  Audiences discover in Mika’s interview his incredible sense of humility.  There is no sense of ego from him in listening to him talk.  That’s just one of the interesting tidbits revealed in his interview.  Audiences also learn the improbable way in which the concert came together.  It’s quite the interesting story, too.  It is centered on a simple mealtime discussion with another individual.  The rest of the story will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  In regards to Leclere’s interview audiences learn that Leclere and Mika didn’t just sit down and pick out a few songs randomly for the concert.  Rather Leclere notes in his interview that he actually went through the entirety of each of Mika’s albums in order to decide which songs would best translate to an orchestral situation.  That attention to detail paid off quite well, too as is clear in the previously noted performance.  It allowed Leclere to fully grasp and appreciate Mika’s music and develop arrangements that would not just compliment Mika’s songs but take them over the top.  And take them over the top they most certainly did.  It’s just one of the interesting items revealed in his interview.  As with Mika’s interview, there is much more for audiences to take in here.  Each interview ultimately proves to be important in its own right to Sinfonia Pop.  Altogether they prove to be just as important to Sinfonia Pop’s presentation as its set list and featured performance.  Collectively speaking, all three elements prove equally important to the recording’s presentation.  They make this recording a solid, new live recording from the internationally acclaimed performer.  Thy also show once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains the leading name in live recordings.

Sinfonia Pop is a solid, new live recording from Mika.  It is also more proof of why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.  That is due in part to the concert’s featured set list.  Neither Mika nor Eagle Rock’s reps wanted to give audiences just some random performance.  It is a set list that lifts liberally from all four of Mika’s albums, thus giving audiences a rich experience, in terms of its songs.  Mika’s performance of said set list and that of his fellow performers is just as important in showing this.  The performance of all involved is akin to watching a major musical stage production.  In all honesty it is just as entertaining.  The interviews that were included in the recording are definitely deserving of being called bonuses.  That is because of the information revealed in each interview.  Each element is undeniably important to the recording’s presentation.  That goes without saying.  Collectively speaking, they show in whole why, again, Sinfonia Pop is a solid, new live recording from Mika.  They also show why once again Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

 

More information on Sinfonia Pop is available along with all of Mika’s latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.mikasounds.com

Facebook: http://www.mikasounds

Twitter: http://twitter.com/mikasounds

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Rolling Stones’ ‘Stripped’ “Sequel” Is A Solid New Live Recording

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Fans of The Rolling Stones have a lot of reason to celebrate this week.  Two of the band’s members—guitarist Ronnie Wood and drummer Charlie Watts—celebrated birthdays this week.  And today the band has released its latest live offering Totally Stripped.  The hybrid tour documentary/live recording is a great gift from the band to its fans and a great way for fans to celebrate not just Watts and Wood but the band in whole.  This is especially true in the case of the recording’s SD Blu-ray/CD combo pack.  At the heart of the set is its packaging.  This will be discussed shortly.  The concert recording that is included in the set is another key element in the set’s presentation.  It will be discussed later.  Last but hardly least notable in this new presentation is the set’s companion booklet.  It rounds out the set’s most notable elements.  Each element is important in its own way to the set’s overall presentation. Altogether they make Totally Stripped a welcome follow-up to the band’s 1995 live recording Stripped and another welcome addition to any Rolling Stones fan’s music library.

The Rolling Stones’ new live recording Totally Stripped is a welcome follow-up to the band’s 1995 live recording Stripped, which was itself re-issued in 2009.  It is just as much of a welcome addition to any Rolling Stones fan’s music library.  This is due in part to the recording’s general presentation.  The focus here will be specifically on the recording’s SD Blu-ray/CD combo pack presentation.  In the case of this presentation, audiences get in the set’s CD a brand new collection of songs that the band performed during its “acoustic” sets included in the band’s 1995 “Voodoo Lounge” Tour.  As is noted on the back of the set’s packaging, only one of the songs included in this set was included as part of Stripped.  That being the case the CD portion of Totally Stripped becomes a brand new live recording rather than just another re-issue.  In examining the set’s SD Blu-ray side, audiences get in this side the band’s Stripped tour documentary.  This documentary isn’t just one of those short 15 – 30 minute pieces.  Rather it is an extensive piece that takes audiences along with the band on the “acoustic” portion of its “Voodoo Lounge Tour.”  The documentary runs roughly an hour.  And it comes complete with performances from the band, behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews with the band and crew.  The interviews provide some interesting insights, too.  One of the most notable of the interview segments features guitarist Keith Richards discussing the misnomer that is “stripped/acoustic” performances.  He laughs as he candidly notes that there’s really no such thing as acoustic anymore.  He has a valid point.  Those that are familiar with, say, MTV’s Unplugged will note that in its original run very few of the acts were ever fully acoustic in their performances.  And a close examination of the performances here backs up Richards’ statement.  [Charlie]Watts’ discussion about his role in the band and what he does is just as interesting to hear.  He notes that he doesn’t play for himself.  Rather he plays as part of the band.  That is a real humble statement from such a revered artists and musician.  Mick offers up his own insights, too along the way.  And his insights aren’t the last.  Even producer Don Was has some shining commentary about the band in his own interview segments.  These sentiments and those of the band’s touring members join together to with the set’s CD presentation and complete the experience for audiences.  The two sides together show clearly why the set’s packaging is key to its presentation.  It isn’t the set’s only key element either.  Looking a little bit deeper at the double-disc set, the set list presented in its CD presentation is important in its own right to the set’s presentation.

The packaging of The Rolling Stones’ new live recording Totally Stripped is in its own right a hugely important part of the set’s presentation.  It divides up the experience, putting the band’s full-length “Voodoo Lounge Tour” documentary on its own disc.  The actual concert recording is presented on another, separate CD.  Speaking of the concert recording, the set list presented in the CD is almost entirely brand new.  Only one of the songs from the band’s 1995 recording Stripped is included in this recording’s set list.  The rest of the songs are taken from the band’s ’95 tour.  But they were not included in that original recording.  Even more impressive is that the songs were not all taken from just one of the acoustic dates included in the band’s ’95 tour.  They were lifted from the band’s performance at Amsterdam, London, and Paris.  The end result is a 78-minute audio experience that while not one full concert is just as good as a complete concert.  In fact it technically could be considered a full concert in its own right, just lifted from a series of different dates, considering its run time.  Keeping this in mind the CD presentation in Totally Stripped shows clearly that it is just as important to the set’s presentation as the set’s packaging.  They are not the set’s only important elements either.  The companion booklet that comes with the set is just as important to its presentation as the set’s packaging and its concert recording.

Totally Stripped’s packaging and its concert recording are both key elements in this set’s overall presentation.  While both elements are of equal importance to the set’s presentation they are not its only key elements.  This critic has noted time and again the importance of live recordings’ companion booklets.  In some cases they are just as useful as they can be useless in others.  This is one of those cases in which the set’s companion booklet proves quite important to its presentation.  The booklet gives ample background on this recording, comparing it early to the band’s very first live recording Got Live If You Want It.  Richard Havers, who has handled the liner notes for many of The Rolling Stones’ recent live recordings handled the liner notes for this recording, too.  He notes here that on Got Live If You Want It was not in fact a wholly live recording.  Rather it included two studio tracks with audience noise overdubbed to make them seem live.  From there, Havers outlines in full depth the course of events that led to the release of Stripped starting with the recording of Stripped in studio and the documentary that rose from those sessions.  From there he outlines the band’s Voodoo Lounge Tour and what made it such a great tour right up to the band’s final show of the tour at the Brixton Aademy.  He even makes special note in the booklet about the songs featured on the new live compilation presented in the set’s CD.  The background that Havers offers in his commentary is a great setup for this recording.  It is like the appetizer to the set’s musical main dish so to speak.  Yes, that’s probably a bad comparison.  But it was the first thing that came to this critic’s mind.  Simply put, the commentary included in Totally Stripped’s  companion booklet proves just as important to the set’s presentation as its packaging and the content presented in each disc.  All things considered, Totally Stripped shows in the end to be a welcome follow-up to Stripped and an equally welcome addition to any Rolling Stones fan’s music library.

The Rolling Stones’ new live recording Totally Stripped is a welcome follow-up to the band’s 1995 live recording Stripped.  It is just as welcome in any Rolling Stones fan’s music library.  That is due in part to the double disc set’s overall packaging.  Eagle Rock Entertainment and Universal Music Group have presented the set with a standalone 90-minute documentary on its own disc.  A separate 78-minute disc contains live recordings from the Stripped shows not previously included in the set.  That “new” collection of songs (save for one) makes the recording’s CD presentation just as important as the set’s overall packaging.  The set’s companion booklet rounds out its overall presentation.  Thanks to Richard Havers, who handled the liner notes for many of the band’s previous live recordings, audiences are presented with a solid introduction to the set ahead of the experience that it provides audiences.  Each element proves equally important in its own right to Totally Stripped’s presentation.  Altogether they make this set, again, a welcome follow-up to Stripped and an equally welcome addition to any Rolling Stones fan’s music library.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

 

More information on Totally Stripped is available with all of the latest news and more from The Rolling Stones at:

 

 

Website: http://www.rollingstones.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/therolingstones

Twitter: http://twitter.com/RollingStones

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

No Tricks Here: Imagine Dragons’ New Live Recording Is Musical Magic

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Universal Music Group

Imagine Dragons is one of the biggest bands in America today if not the world.  That goes without saying.  Ever since its original formation in 2008 the band has sold millions of albums, earned more than its share of awards and nominations, appeared on any number of TV shows, and entertained audiences the world over.  It even has a brand new single out on the soundtrack to the new romantic dramedy Me Before You.  Even in taking some obviously much-needed time off, the band still isn’t showing any sign of stopping.  That is because this summer the band will release its first official live recording in the form of Smoke & Mirrors Live.  It will be released Friday, June 3rd via Eagle Rock Entertainment.  Whether or not a person is a fan of this Las Vegas, NV-based band’s audiences will agree that this record is one more of 2016’s top new live recordings and yet more proof of why Eagle Rock Entertainment is the leading name in live recordings.  This is proven in part by the concert’s set list.  That will be discussed shortly.  The band’s performance and the overall production are just as important to note in the recording’s presentation as the show’s set list.  The concert’s varied platforms and packaging are just as notable in the recording’s presentation as the set list and overall stage show.  They round out the most notable of the recording’s elements.  Each noted element shows in its own way to be of its own importance to the recording.  Altogether they show clearly why Smoke & Mirrors Live is one of this year’s top new live recordings.  They also show once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment stands tall to this day as the leading name in live recordings today.

Imagine Dragons’ new live recording Smoke + Mirrors Live is one of 2016’s top new live recordings.  It is also more proof as to why Eagle Rock Entertainment stands tall to this day as the leading name in live recordings.  This is proven in part through the concert’s set list.  The concert boasts a total of twenty songs.  Some of those songs stand alone and others are part of mini-medleys.  In all the show’s set list pulls almost evenly from both of the band’s albums so far.  No fewer than seven songs were lifted from the band’s 2012 debut record Night Visions and ten others from Smoke & Mirrors.  The band even included some songs that were included only in certain limited editions of Smoke & Mirrors in the set in the form of ‘Warriors’ and ‘Thief’ alongside a cover of the song ‘Forever Young.’  That covers the show’s twenty total songs.  While the set list does an impressive job of covering the band’s body of work so far, there is a slight issue with the set’s presentation.  The concert’s Blu-ray/CD combo pack features the concert in whole on Blu-ray.  However some of the songs included in the concert’s Blu-ray presentation were omitted in its CD presentation.  What’s more, some of the interludes that are included in the Blu-ray presentation were also omitted from the CD presentation. It is problematic to a point that the noted elements have been omitted from the set’s CD presentation.  But thankfully at least in the Blu-ray/CD combo pack audiences do still get the full set list and concert experience regardless.  Not having the DVD presentation this critic cannot comment on that presentation.  Keeping that in mind the set list still proves to be its own important part of S+M Live’s presentation.  It is not the show’s only important element.  The band’s performance couples with its overall production to form another of the recording’s most important elements.

The set list presented in S+M Live (as it will henceforth be known) is its own important part of the recording’s presentation.  That is because it lifts liberally from both of the band’s current albums including songs that were only available in exclusive limited editions of Smoke + Mirrors.  Even with the set list being abridged–so to speak–in the recording’s CD presentation, placing the CD with the Blu-ray in the Blu-ray/CD combo pack makes up for that and for the omission of the interludes, too.  While the set list ultimately proves important in its own right to the recording’s presentation the band’s performance and stage production are collectively just as important to the recording as the set list.  Front man Dan Reynolds keeps audiences completely entertained both in the concert’s more reserved moments and those that are more fiery.  That is because of the emotion and energy that he exuded in each moment.  Simply put he showed that he was completely involved in the performance.  He wasn’t just phoning it in.  Sadly there are performers who do try to phone it in.  In some cases it works.  In others it obviously doesn’t.  Luckily his is neither case.  His band mates—Wayne Sermon (guitar), Daniel Platzman (drums), and Ben McKee (bass)—along with the rest of the band’s touring members mirror that energy in their own performances.  The collective whole of their performances will keep audiences at home just as entertained as those that were in attendance at the concert’s recording.

On a related note to the band’s performance, the concert’s general stage production plays its own role in the recording’s presentation.  There’s no pyro or seizure-inducing strobes at any point through the show.  Rather, the band utilizes a minimalist set for its show.  There are some monitors that utilize lights within their displays.  But they are really the extent of the show’s “special effects.”  This limits the use of the lights which in turn actually makes them a hugely element in illustrating the mood of each song’s mood.  The lights brighten at all of the right moments and dim in the same fashion. They even change colors at just the right moments in order to help illustrate the songs’ mood.  When they do start pulsating, that action is limited even in those moments.  Simply put the minimalist production used in the band’s stage show proves just as important to the band’s performance as the band’s performance itself.  The two work hand in hand in entertaining audiences and keeping them engaged.  They show in whole that they are indeed just as important to the concert’s presentation as its relatively extensive set list.  They are hardly the last of the recording’s most notable elements.  The concert’s platforms and packaging round out its most notable elements.

The set list presented in Smoke + Mirrors Live is its own important part of the recording’s overall presentation.  That is the case even with the set list varying between the recording’s visual and audio presentation.  The band’s performance and stage production couple for another important part of the recording’s presentation.  That is because they work so well together to entertain audiences with their collective energy.  There is no arguing the importance of each noted element in the recording’s overall presentation.  As important as they are to the whole of the recording they are not the recording’s only important elements.  The varied platforms and packaging of the recording are just as important to its presentation as any of the other noted elements.  In regards to its platforms it is available in the Blu-ray/CD combo pack which is being examined here.  It is also available in a DVD/CD combo pack, standalone DVD and Blu-ray platform, and various digital platforms.  This might not seem like much on the surface.  But in presenting it in all three formats (and each format being “extended”) Eagle Rock and Universal Music have covered all of their bases.  They have essentially reached out to every possible audience group.  This was an extremely wise course of action for all involved.  The recording’s packaging is just as important as its platforms.  That applies primarily to the concert’s physical platforms.  Audiences will note that the packaging for both the DVD/CD combo pack and Blu-ray/CD combo pack is exactly the same.  It presents both halves of the recording in a gatefold packaging.  The discs are each placed on their own spindle in their own respective spot inside the packaging.  This greatly reduces the odds of damage to the case and the discs.  Audiences that are familiar with multi-disc CD packaging will note that many labels today use thin, plates in the middle of a standard sized CD case in order to save space on CD racks.  That does save space.  But as thin as said inserts are, they are very prone to breaking because of their fragility.  The material used for inserts in multi-disc DVD and Blu-ray packaging is more durable, making it smarter for that platform.  Keeping all of this in mind, the packaging used for this (and many other live recordings from Eagle Rock Entertainment) might be bulkier than those from other labels.  But it is more durable and better protects the recordings’ discs.  So to that end, Smoke + Mirrors Live’s packaging proves in the bigger picture to be just as important to its presentation as its set list, stage production and performance by the band.  Each element is equally important in its own right to the recording’s overall presentation.  Even the program’s main menu plays its own part in the concert’s presentation.  Audiences get to see the band prepare for its performance in the recording’s menu.  There are also snippets of said performance played against the menu.  And they aren’t just short, little snippets either.  They are solid samples of each song. Between that and everything else that has been noted audiences get in whole here a recording that audiences in whole will appreciate.  This applies regardless of audiences’ familiarity with the band’s body of work.

Imagine Dragons’ new live recording Smoke + Mirrors Live is a recording that every viewer will appreciate.  This applies regardless of audiences’ familiarity with the band’s body of work.  This is due in part to the recording’s extensive set list.  The band’s performance and its general stage production work together to keep audiences entertained and engaged from beginning to end.  The packaging of both the DVD/CD and Blu-ray/CD combo pack plays its own important part in the recording’s overall presentation, too.  The concert’s main menu proves important to its presentation, too even as minor as it may seem.  Each element is important to the concert’s presentation in its own special way.  Altogether they make Smoke + Mirrors Live a concert that audiences will not only appreciate but will agree is one of 2016’s top new live recordings.  They will agree, too that it proves once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment still stands tall as the leading name in live recordings.  It will be available in stores and online Friday, June 3rd.  More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online at:

 

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

 

More information on Smoke + Mirrors Live is available online now along with all of Imagine Dragons’ latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.imaginedragonsmusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ImagineDragons

Twitter: http://twitter.com/imaginedragons

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Perry: “No Truth” To Recent Aerosmith Rumor

Courtesy:  MSO PR

Courtesy: MSO PR

Rumors have allegedly been running rampant around the fate of veteran rock band Aerosmith.  The alleged rumors have centered on whether or not the band has been looking to replace long-time front man Steven Tyler.  It would seem that the rumors likely heated up upon the announcement of Tyler’s upcoming “Out On A Limb Tour.’  It isn’t the first time that rumors have swirled surrounding the band’s fate, either.  Tyler’s stint on Fox’s American Idol stirred rumors, too as did events both before and after.  In response to the latest rumors Tyler’s band mates have spoken out.

Joe Perry outright denied the rumors saying, “There’s absolutely no truth to a story circulating that Aerosmith is looking for a new singer.”  He added, “Any rumor out there about us looking for another singer is completely untrue. All five of us were just on the phone together talking about how excited we are to go to South America and Mexico City.” These tour dates run from September 29-October 27.

 

More information on the situation is available online now along with more news and more from Aerosmith at:

 

 

Website: http://www.aerosmith.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/aerosmith

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Aerosmith

 

 

Aerosmith’s latest studio recording is 2012’s Music From Another Dimension.  Late last year the band released its latest live recording Aerosmith Rocks Donington via Eagle Rock Entertainment.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Gardot Succeeds In Her First Full-Length Live Recording

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Melody Gardot is one of the most well-kept secrets in the music industry, today.  The Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter and musician has been making music since the tender age of nine.  She released her first record—Some LessonsThe Bedroom Sessions EP—at only 20 years-old.  Only three years later in 2008, Gardot went on to release her debut full-length studio recording Worrisome Heart via Verve Records.  Three more albums—each also released via Verve Records–would follow over the course of the next seven years, the most recent being 2015’s Currency of Man.  And earlier this month she partnered with Eagle Rock Entertainment to release her first-ever live recording Live at the Olympia Paris.  It is a good effort for being her first full-length live recording.  That is due in part to the concert’s set list.  This will be discussed shortly.  Gardot’s stage presence and that of her fellow musicians is just as important to note in examining what makes the recording as enjoyable as it is.  Last but hardly least of note in this recording is its production values.  They round out the concert’s most notable elements.  Together with those elements, all three elements join together to make Live at the Olympia Paris not just a good first full-length live effort from Melody Gardot, but an equally impressive first live recording from the songstress.  What’s more it proves once again why Eagle Rock Entertainment is still today the leading name in live recordings.

Live at the Olympia Paris is a good first full live effort from Melody Gardot.  It is not perfect by any means.  But it is still a good effort from the Philadelphia-based artist. That is due in part to the concert’s set list.  It is clear that the set list, which pulls liberally from her most recent album—2015’s Currency of Man—and slightly from her 2009 album—My One And Only Thrill–was very deliberately and thoughtfully planned out.  That is evident in examining not just the set list’s featured songs but especially here their sequencing.  It would have been so easy for Gardot and company to just assemble a handful of songs from all four of her current albums and all three of her current EPs.  And it honestly would have been nice to have seen those records represented here, too.  That is especially the case for those that are not so familiar with Gardot and her music.  But in watching closely viewers will note that the energy flowing through the set list seamlessly ties the concert together.  It is possible in considering this that Gardot and company did consider using other songs, too.  However, one has to assume in experiencing the concert for one’s self, that all involved felt that this set list flowed together better than any other considered set list.  That would actually account for the show’s set list being so light.  So keeping this in mind, while the set list may not be the best representation of Gardot’s full body of work, audiences must agree that it is a set list that effectively entertains and keeps audiences at home just as engaged as those that were there in attendance at the October 2015 show’s recording.  Now having tackled that issue, the concert’s set list is just one part of the recording that makes it work as well as it does.  Gardot’s stage presence, and that of her fellow musicians, is just as important to note here as the show’s set list.

The set list that is featured in Melody Gardot’s new live recording is important to the recording.  That is because despite not necessarily being career-spanning it is a fluid set that will keep home viewers just as entertained and engaged as those that were in attendance at the concert’s recording late last year.  It is just one of the recording’s most important elements.  Gardot’s stage presence, and that of her fellow musicians, is just as important to note as the show’s set list.  Gardot’s stage presence throughout the course of the hour and forty-two minute concert is truly impressive.  Her performance and her interactions with the audience are noticeably reserved from beginning to end.  That’s not to say she was nervous or even introverted.  Rather, she takes in the whole experience.  Yet in doing so, there is a certain element of humility—for lack of better wording here—in her presence.  She gives each song her whole, as do her fellow musicians.  But by comparison she is so gentle and subtle from beginning to end.  Even in her interactions with the audience, she goes to the edge of the stage, kneels down to put herself at the audience’s level, and almost whispers to the audience as she talks to them.  On a related note, it’s clear that she is fluent in French.  She doesn’t just use one or two words here and there unlike so many other artists when they perform outside the U.S. Instead, she offers up a whole discussion on Charles Mingus in French and even holds whole conversations with the audience in French.  As subtle as it is, this plays hugely into her stage presence.  It’s one of those things that shows that she really connected with her audience.  On the same note (no pun intended), Gardot’s fellow musicians are the polar opposite.  Saxophonist Irwin Hall shows so much range from one song to the next and just as much talent.  His softer moments are just as powerful as those moments when he lets loose and blows the proverbial roof off of the house.  His ability to handle two saxophones at the same time is just as notable.  That will blow both classically trained musicians and those that are more along the novice end of that spectrum.  Drummer Chuck Staab is just as impressive in his intensity.  He remains so focused throughout the concert.  That is visible every time that the cameras go to him.  But it’s a good thing to see.  He never over thinks anything at any point.  The result is a foundation that is just as solid as any of the other parts in any of the set’s other songs.  There is so much more that could be said of the band’s stage presence in this concert.  Suffice it to say that from one musician to the next, the whole of the group’s stage presence here proves to be just as entertaining and engaging as the show’s set list.  As a matter of fact, the band members’ stage presence is what makes the energy flow so fluidly throughout the set, showing again why despite being such a light offering, the set list is still an important part of the concert’s overall presentation.  Having discussed all of this, there is still one more element to examine.  That element is the concert’s collective production values.

The set list presented in Live at the Olympia Paris and the band’s performance of said set list are both key in making this recording both entertaining and engaging.  The set list was obviously very meticulously assembled.  The band’s performance of the set list helped to keep the show flowing fluidly from beginning to end, thus ensuring audiences’ engagement and entertainment.  As important as both elements are to the concert, the concert’s production values cannot be ignored in examining its overall presentation.  This includes not just the work done at the concert but the work put into post production, too.  As noted already, some of the shots captured during the concert present a very focused Chuck Staab.  Staab’s mind is completely set on the songs and getting them right.  Those shots are so impacting.  And when Gardot sits at her piano, discussing perhaps music theory (?) with the audience, the angle of the shots coupled with the soft light has an effect that simply can’t be put into words.  It is something that has to be seen in order to be fully appreciated.  On yet another angle, the energy of the camera work in the set’s more up-tempo numbers expertly captures that energy and translates it perfectly to home viewers.  That is especially the case in those moments when [Irwin] Allen lets loose and absolutely wails on his sax.  Between these moments and those not noted here, it can be said that the work of the concert’s camera crew and director is well deserving of its share of praise.  Those responsible for the concert’s audio are just as deserving of applause as the concert’s camera crew.  The Olympia is clearly a very open venue.  That allows plenty of room for the sound to echo throughout the hall.  Yet those behind the boards handled their duties just as expertly as the camera crew.  Thanks to those that edited the final product put the finishing touch on the whole thing.  The end result is a concert that looks and sounds just as good on DVD and Blu-ray as it must have in person, if not better.  This critic will attest to the fact that while the final product sounds good on a standard HD monitor, the production crew’s work honestly results in yet another concert that would be best experienced on a full surround sound theater system.  That is not to say, again, that it doesn’t sound good on a standard monitor.  It is just one of those recordings that offers the optimum experience in terms of its video and sound on a home theater system.  That is a testament to the work of all involved.  Their work, when set against the band’s performance, and the show’s set list, rounds out the concert’s overall presentation.  It works with the band’s performance and the show’s set list to make the recording a relatively good first full-length live recording from Melody Gardot and more proof of why Eagle Rock Entertainment still stands today as the leader in live recordings.

Live at the Olympia Paris is a solid first full-length live recording from Melody Gardot.  It is also another recording exhibiting exactly why Eagle Rock Entertainment still stands today as the leading name in live recordings.  This is due in part to the concert’s fluid (albeit short) set list.  It is a set list whose energy is expertly balanced from beginning to end.  In turn it is certain to keep home viewers just as entertained and engaged as those that were in attendance at the concert’s recording.  The band’s performance of the set list is just as important in keeping audiences engaged and entertained.  Thanks to their work, the band translates the fluidity of the set’s energy with just as much expertise as was used in assembling the set list.  It keeps audiences just as engaged and entertained as the set list itself.  The end result of the production crew’s work in recording the concert rounds out the recording’s presentation.  Their work results in a concert experience that is just as good as being there if not better.  All things considered, Live at the Olympia Paris proves in the end to be a good first live effort from Melody Gardot.  It proves just as much to be yet another example of why Eagle Rock Entertainment still stands today as the leading name in live recordings.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Jackson’s New Live Recording Is As Solid As A “Rock”

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Late last year Alana Jackson released his latest full-length studio recording Angels and Alcohol.  Ahead of its release, the country music legend launched a tour in support of his first album since 2012’s Thirty Miles West.  The “25th Anniversary Keepin’ It Country” tour launched January 8th, 2015 in Fort Meyers, Florida and ran through the better part of the year.  It included a performance at Colorado’s famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre on May 17th, 2015.  That performance serves as the basis for Jackson’s new live recording Keepin’ It CountryLive at Red Rocks.  Keepin’ It CountryLive at Red Rocks will be released in stores and online this Friday, May 6th on DVD and digital.  There is a lot to like about this latest offering from the veteran performer beginning with its set list.  The show’s choice of songs and its ordering are both important to note in regards to its overall presentation.  That’s just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  Jackson and company’s stage presence throughout the concert is just as important to note.  And as with every one of Eagle Rock Entertainment’s live recordings, the concert’s production values (I.E. its audio and video mix).  This is one of those concerts that looks and sounds just as great on a standard HD monitor as it does with a home theater system.  Together with the concert’s set list and the musicians’ performance of said set list all three elements come together to make the recording in whole one that country fans of all ages will enjoy and that proves yet again why Eagle Rock Entertainment is still to this day the leader in live recordings.

Alan Jackson’s new live recording Keepin’ It CountryLive at Red Rocks is a concert recording that country fans of all ages and tastes will enjoy.  That is thanks in large part to the show’s selected set list and its order.  The show’s extensive twenty-six song set runs a total of an hour and forty-six minutes.  That’s just under the two hour mark.  Though, because of the set’s order and the group’s stage presence, which will be discussed later, that time feels like even more.  That is meant in the best way possible, too. The set list itself pulls from a rather healthy portion of his lengthy career.  It represents no less than ten of his albums and indeed his twenty-five year career.  Given, not every album is represented here.  But a good compliment of his albums is represented.  It goes all the way back to his U.S. debut record, 1990’s Here In The Real World.  There are even some numbers that he recorded with others such as ‘As She’s Walking Away,’ which was included in the Zac Brown Band album You Get What You Give.  Perhaps the only con to the whole set list (to this critic alone) is the omission of ‘Summertime Blues.’  That song is one of this critic’s favorite songs from Alan Jackson.  Of course everybody has his or her favorite song(s).  So in the end, the set list still proves at least in terms of its featured songs, to be an impressive, important part of this recording.  The set list’s order is just as important to note as its featured songs.  Audiences will appreciate the attention to detail in regards to the set list’s order.  It balances the songs’ energy expertly from one song to the next right to the show’s end.  From the show’s up-tempo opener ‘Gone Country’ to the equally playful and energetic ‘I Don’t Even Know Your Name’ to the more laid back ‘Livin’ On Love’ and beyond, the show’s energy will keep home viewers just as entertained and engaged as those that were in attendance at the concert.  Keeping this in mind, both the show’s set list and its order prove to be equally important to the recording’s presentation if not the most important of its elements.

The set list and its order are both key elements in the overall presentation of Alan Jackson’s new live recording.  The set list is itself quite extensive, going back indeed a quarter of a century to his debut album and even up to his latest album.  The set list’s order is just as important as the set itself as it maintains a solid balance of energy from beginning to end.  While both elements are undeniably important to the recording’s presentation, they are not its only important element.  The band’s stage presence (especially that of Jackson) is another pivotal element in the recording’s presentation.  Audiences will be pleased to see and hear how natural the performance feels in experiencing it for themselves.  Considering Jackson’s two decades-plus long career it should come as no surprise that he acts right at home on stage.  What’s more there is still a certain sense of humility from him throughout his performance.  Even despite being considered one of the modern legends of country music, he shows in his performance that he hasn’t let such a label go to his head.  Between songs, he spends ample time interacting with the audience in an almost Storytellers sort of vibe.  He takes time to joke with the audience at some points.  At others, he takes some time to discuss the roots of certain songs.  The laughter and the insight offered in these moments, coupled with the professionalism of Jackson’s fellow musicians makes for a performance that, again, audiences at home will enjoy just as much as those that were there in attendance.  It is not the last of the recording’s most important elements, either.  The recording’s production values round out the whole thing.

The set list and its order are important in their own right to Keepin’ It Country: Live at Red Rocks.  They serve in their own fashion to keep viewers entertained and engaged.  The same can be said of Jackson’s stage presence and that of his fellow musicians.  The talent and professionalism of all involved proves this just as much as the totally natural feel of the performances.  For all of the importance of these elements, they are not the only important elements to note in this recording’s presentation.  The recording’s production values (I.E. its audio and video) are just as important to note as the other mentioned elements.  Just as with so many of its previous live recordings, Eagle Rock Entertainment has given audiences the absolute best seat in the house.  That is even with the fame and notoriety of the Red Rocks Amphitheatre.  The concert’s camera crew and director capture the concert from every one of its best angles.  This includes shots from all around the stage, from the vast sea of fans, and from even other spots that would seem to most impossible to get.  All in all, the shots captured by the camera crew and their director heighten the viewing experience even more for audiences.  As impressive as their work was, the editors charged with assembling the final product are to be applauded just as much.  The combined efforts of all involved results in a visual experience that is just as enjoyable as being there in person, if not more so.  Of course that is not to overlook the work of those manning the audio boards.  This is very important to note.  Thanks to those behind the boards, this concert is one that sounds just as good on a standard high definition monitor as a full home theater system.  This is important to note because believe it or not there are some recordings out there whose audio mix is best experienced on a home theater system.  There are others that are best served on just a standard monitor.  This concert is neither of those.  Its audio is so well balanced that it works just as well on a standard monitor as on a home theater system.  Audiences that listen to it on a standard monitor won’t be losing out on anything.  Both audiences will get the same enjoyable experience.  Considering this, the audio—thanks both to those that manned the boards and those that handled it in post production—proves to be just as important to this recording as its video.  It and the show’s video mix round out the recording, showing one more time exactly why every country music fan and every Alan Jackson fan will enjoy this recording.  They also combine to, again, show why Eagle Rock is still today the leading name in live recordings.

Alan Jackson’s new live recording Keepin’ It Country: Live at Red Rocks is a recording that both country fans and fans of his of all ages will enjoy.  It also shows once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment still stands today as the leader in live recordings.  This is evident in the show’s extensive and obviously well thought out set it.  It is a set list that will keep audiences both entertained and engaged from beginning to end.  The same an be said of the band’s stage presence, including that of Jackson.  The performance in whole feels completely natural.   And Jackson himself even comes across as being so personable as he interacts with the audience between almost every song, sharing both laughs and insight.  The recording’s production values round out its presentation.  Each element is important in its own way to the recording’s presentation.  Altogether, they make this recording, once more, one that country music fans and Alan Jackson fans of all ages will enjoy.  It also serves to show once more why Eagle Rock Entertainment remains today the leading name in live recordings.  It will be available this Friday, May 6th in stores and online.  More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

 

More information on this and other recordings from Alan Jackson is available online now along with all of Jackson’s latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.alanjackson.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialAlanJackson

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OfficialJackson

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Robinson’s ‘Through A Crooked Sun’ Is A Straight Hit

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Veteran musician/performer Rich Robinson will release his latest album this summer.  The album, Flux, will be his fourth full length studio recording and eighth overall recording.  It will be released Friday, June 24th in stores and online.  While audiences wait for its release, Robinson has given them more than a little something to pass the time in the form of four re-issues.  Robinson teamed up with Eagle Rock Entertainment this year to re-issue four of his previous recordings.  Two of those recordings—Paper and Llama Blues—were released this past February.  The other two—Woodstock Sessions Vol. 3 and Through a Crooked Sun—were released earlier this month.  Each of the recordings stands out in its own special way and in turn serves as its own welcome introduction to Robinson the solo artist versus Robinson the former Black Crowes member.  This is just as evident in Robinson’s 2011 album Through A Crooked Sun as in his other recent re-issues.  Robinson even notes in the liner notes of the album’s new re-issue that it shows a completely different side of him than what he was able to show as a member of Black Crowes.  That is clear right from the album’s opener ‘Gone Away.’  The song, driven largely by drummer Joe Magistro’s four-on-the-floor, exhibits a number of influences.  That will be discussed shortly.  ‘Hey Fear’ is another of the album’s offerings that stands out in this album.  Its reserved sound and equally introspective lyrics team up to make it one of the album’s most poignant and powerful moments.  The southern ground sound of ‘Falling Again’ makes that song stand out in its own way, too.  What listeners will note about each of these songs is just how much each song stands out from the other in terms of Robinson and company’s stylistic approach to each composition.  That applies just as much in the album’s other compositions as with the pieces noted here.  All things considered Eagle Rock Entertainment’s re-issue of Rich Robinson’s Through A Crooked Sun is not only a great listen for Robinson’s fans and fans of Black Crowes but also another good addition to any critic’s list of the year’s top new CD re-issues.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s re-issue of Rich Robinson’s 2011 album Through A Crooked Sun is not the only of his records to be re-issued lately.  As a matter of fact it is the fourth of his recordings to be re-issued in recent months.  It is just as welcome as those other re-issues in any of his fans’ music libraries.  Not only that but it is also yet another of this year’s top new CD re-issues.  The reason being that the album in whole does in fact reflect a side of Robinson that was rarely ever heard in his work with Black Crowes.  That is evident right off the top in the album’s opener ‘Gone Away.’  This song is a clear example of what makes Through A Crooked Sun stand out in large part due to its musical arrangement.  It could just be this critic’s own take but at least to this critic it hints at a Beatles influence circa Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band with its guitar line and solid, driving four-on-the-floor drum line.  At the same time one could also argue that that same sound hints at an influence from the likes of Phish and Widespread Panic.  Its lyrical content makes it just as intriguing.  Robinson sings here, “I fell the distance of the deepest canyon/It took me years to climb back to the top/And now I see the plains right in front of me/I hope to take it all the way to the sea.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “It seems like everything’s gone away now.”  This statement seems to be in regards to what the song’s subject sees as he traverses the once familiar landscape.  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “ I feel the comet coming/To take us to a new world/Like a child/Walk a cliff at noon/With new ways unlike this world’s never seen/I hope to last to see it viewed pristine.”  Now, if that is indeed the proper interpretation of the verse without lyrics to go by, then it is just as thought-provoking as the song’s opening verse.  And again he proceeds to repeat the song’s chorus again, noting that everything familiar has gone away.  Again that response to the song’s verse comes across as a commentary of how much things have changed in the world.  Except in this case the reference comes across as being more of a social commentary than just in general.  That is, again, just this critic’s own take on Robinson’s lyrical content here.  The song’s final verse is just as likely to catch listeners’ ears and get them thinking.  Together with the song’s other lyrical content and its musical content, the whole of the composition shows why it is one of the album’s most notable offerings.  It is not the only piece that stands out on this record.  ‘Hey Fear’ stands out just as much.

‘Gone Away’ is an interesting addition to Rich Robinson’s first full-length solo studio recording.  It is not the only notable offering. ‘Hey Fear’ is another of the album’s most notable inclusions.  As with ‘Gone Away’ this song is worth noting because of its own musical and lyrical content.  In regards to its musical content, said content is so notable because it is the polar opposite of that in the album’s opener.  Whereas that song had a more classic rock-oriented sound, this piece boasts more of a folksy, Americana sort of sound.  That’s just the tip of the song’s proverbial musical iceberg.  A close listen reveals elements within the song’s instrumentation that stand out in each part.  For instance, the drums here don’t sound nearly as open as in ‘Gone Away.’  That is the case even as the song builds into its final minutes.  They cut through in those final minutes.  But they never have that more airy sound that is evident in the album’s opener.  Just as interesting to note here is the prominence of the song’s bass line.  There are sections within the song in which Robinson’s bass line (Robinson covers both the guitar and bass line in this song)presents its own surprise melody.  It’s subtle, too;  so subtle in fact that it will take listeners a few times to fully realize what they are hearing.  When they do, they will most assuredly appreciate its balance with the rest of the song’s instrumentation.  Even the manner in which the song gradually builds from its acoustic to its more bombastic electric side stands out.  Whether through these elements or any of the others within the song’s musical content, it can be said of the song’s musical content in whole that it does more than its part in making this song stand out.  The song’s musical arrangement and instrumentation is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content is just as notable.  In regards to its lyrical content Robinson sings here of overcoming the fear that so easily cripples so many people, possibly including himself.  That is clear as he sings, “Hey there, fear/You’re always in tow/Never too far behind/Your presence is always known/Will you live to carry on/Living underneath my wing/Will you finally move along/Watch the distance come between/Hey fear/Hey fear/Time to finally move along/Watching distance grow between.”  This is the song’s subject (or Robinson himself) addressing the fears that have crippled himself (or herself) and saying in no uncertain terms that he/she will not let it control him/her anymore.  The victory over that fear is illustrated especially well as Robinson, [Joe] Magistro, and [Steve] Molitz build the song to the wide open, bombastic sound presented in its ending minutes.  It’s one more way in which this song stands out.  Together with the song’s musical content, both elements combine to make it one more of the album’s most notable inclusions because it is also one of the album’s most emotionally powerful and engaging opuses.  It still is not the last of the album’s most notable tracks.  ‘Falling Again’ is another piece that proves the overall importance of this album.

‘Gone Away’ and ‘Hey Fear’ are both important inclusions to Through A Crooked Sun in their own right.  One mixes elements of rock’s golden era with a more modern classic sound and crosses it with some rather insightful lyrics.  The other offers its own insightful lyrics and matches said lyrics with some notably powerful musical content.  The two songs together form their own solid foundation for the re-issue of Rich Robinson’s debut solo record.  As important as they are to this record they are not its only notable compositions.  ‘Falling Again’ is just as important to the album as the noted songs and those not noted here.  It stands out because once again it presents Robinson’s broad musical talents and influences.  This song is pure southern rock with elements of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, and others of that ilk in terms of its musical content.  That sound, which differs from anything else on this record is only pat of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content is just as important to note as its music.  Robinson sings in the song’s lead verse, “I hear you falling again/And you’re brining me down/But that’s not where I’m going/There’s no one around you this time/But you haven’t noticed yet/When you do/Will you speak softly/It’s time that I’m rollin’/No bringin’ me down/The news I’ve been hearin’/It’s all over town/Tales of a sad man/Who doesn’t know he’s out/Spend his time a’ reelin’/In a world of doubt.”  This, again, is only this critic’s interpretation of this song.  But it comes across as if Robinson is commenting on all of the world’s negativity both in the things people say every day to one another and to the news in today’s 24/7 news cycle.  He comes across as saying he’s so tired of it and doesn’t want to fall down with all of that negativity.  If indeed that is the case then it’s a deep statement made in a very small amount of space.  To that extent, Richardson deserves a round of applause.  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Back when you told me a lie/Do you realize/You were lookin’ straight in the mirror/Far be it from me to explain/What you’re doing now/Go on and on forever.”  From here he returns to the song’s chorus.   That second verse seems rather self explanatory.  It is a commentary about people lying to themselves when they attempt to lie to others.  An again, the song’s chorus drives home the message of the song’s subject trying to get away from all of that because it is only serving to make a person’s world fall down around him/her.  It is yet another topic to which any listener can relate.  And Robinson’s gentle delivery of these lines—believe it or not—actually heightens the impact of the song’s lyrical subject matter that much more.  Keeping this in mind the combination of that vocal delivery, the song’s thoughtful lyrics, and its equally enjoyable musical foundation makes clear why this song stands out as one more of the album’s most notable compositions.  When the song is set against the other pieces noted here, and the pieces not noted, the record in whole shows with full clarity just why it is another welcome addition to the personal music libraries of Robinson’s fans and also why it is one more of this year’s top new CD re-issues.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new re-issue of Rich Robinson’s debut solo album Through A Crooked Sun is not the only one of his records to be re-issued this year.  It is however, one of the year’s top new CD re-issues along with the other three records that have been re-issued from his catalogue.  From its wide variety of musical styles to its equally broad spectrum of lyrical themes, it offers plenty for audiences to appreciate regardless of their familiarity with Robinson’s solo work.  Altogether, the mix of the album’s musical and lyrical content makes this record one more great addition to the home music library of any of Robinson’s fans and an equally enjoyable listen for fans while they wait for his next new album, which is, again due out this summer.  Richardson will hit the road in May in support of all of these albums.  His upcoming tour begins May 12th in Dallas, TX and also includes a performance in North Carolina on June 30th.  That performance will be at the PNC Music Pavilion in Charlotte, NC alongside Bad Company and Joe Walsh.  Robinson’s complete, current tour schedule is available online now along with more information on his new re-issues, his upcoming album Flux and all of his latest news at:

 

 

Website: http://www.richrobinson.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/richrobinsonmusic

Twitter: http://twitter.com/richsrobinson

 

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.