South Of Eden’s Second Studio Recording Could Be The Band’s Breakout Record

Courtesy: Lava/Republic Records

Neo-classic rock band South of Eden  (formerly Black Coffee) will release its first major label studio recording Friday.  The band is scheduled to release its new four-song EP The Talk through Lava/Republic Records.  The 16-minute record is the band’s first new music since it released its 2018 album Take One under its former moniker.  That nine-song album was the band’s debut (and only) album under the name, but was an impressive offering from the group.  Now two years later the band has found success yet again with its debut EP.  That success is thanks to the record’s musical and lyrical content together, as is evidenced right from the EP’s outset in its title track.  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘Morning Brew’ is another way in which the EP shows its strength.  It will be addressed a little later.  The EP’s closer, which is also its lead singles, is one more example of how this record’s musical and lyrical content comes together to make it such an impressive new effort from the band.  When it is considered with the other two songs noted here and the EP’s one other song, ‘Solo,’ the whole of the EP becomes a work that will definitely leave listeners talking about South of Eden.

South of Eden’s sophomore studio recording and debut EP The Talk is a successful new offering from the up-and-coming neo-classic rock band.  It is a work that will appeal to rock and roll purists and rock fans in general.  That is thanks to the record’s combined musical and lyrical content.  The EP’s opener/title track is just one of the songs that serves to support the noted statements.  The song’s musical arrangement wastes no time grabbing listeners in its opening bars with its up-tempo riff.  That riff gives way to a more reserved nature in the song’s lead verse.  That reserved approach gives way to the noted high energy chorus.  The back and forth of that reserved and more up-tempo sounds ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment from beginning to end of the nearly four-minute song.  What is really interesting to note here is that the classic rock influences of AC/DC and Guns N’ Roses, it also lends itself to comparisons to works from Buckcherry and Alter Bridge.  In other words, the classic rock influences are infused alongside the modern guitar rock influences.  The end result is an arrangement that is a strong start for the album and just one example of why the EP’s musical content is so strong.  The lyrical accompaniment to that musical content adds to the song’s appeal.

Not having a lyrics sheet to reference, the song’s lyrical content is difficult to decipher.  However, from what can be deciphered sans said sheet, it can be inferred (hopefully correctly) that this song is a commentary of sorts about how people say one thing but do something opposite; those people who feed lies to themselves and others.  This is supposed as front man Ehab Omran sings in the song’s chorus about someone who is seemingly rejecting the help that others offer.  He goes so far as to sing in the chorus, “You say you’re trying/But who can tell/When you talk, talk, talk?”  There is even mention in the song’s second verse of “helpful hands/reaching in/everyone tries/But you don’t give in” before he asks again, “What do you want?”  The song’s lead verse adds to the discussion as it addresses someone who in a different situation who doesn’t seem to know what he or she wants.  Again, this interpretation is made wholly sans lyrics to reference.  Hopefully it is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark.  Right or wrong, it can at least be agreed that there is a certain commentary going on here.  That in itself is sure to engage listeners while the song’s musical arrangement will entertain them.  To that end, it makes for a strong start for the EP.  It is just one of the songs that shows the EP’s strength.  ‘Morning Brew,’ the EP’s third song is one more example of why audiences will enjoy the record.

‘Morning Brew’ is much more reserved in comparison to ‘The Talk’ and to the EP’s other two songs in terms of its musical arrangement.  This arrangement is a bluesy, subdued composition that lends itself to comparisons works from the likes of maybe Johnny Lang with its slick guitar riffs.  That reserved nature in this almost blues ballad type composition serves to help translate the emotion in the song’s lyrical theme.

The lyrical content at the center of ‘Morning Brew’ comes across as an introspective statement.  It seems to come from the mind of someone who is going through a difficult time, emotionally speaking.  This is inferred as Omran sings in the song’s lead verse, “Where do you go/When your days are numbered/You’re feeling lonely/Down by the seashore/When your days are bright/Lights are heavy/Where would you go/If I can’t see straight/And my feet stay steady/Walk out the door/All we do/Our world is not ready/Ain’t that the way it goes/When you’re all alone.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “What would they say/If they tell you no/But you do it anyway/Life’s all a big game/Where the people lose/When the evil stands to gain/Looking down the aisle of a train/People’s eyes/All I see is pain/newspapers and crosswords say we’re all lookin’ down the barrel of a gun.” Again, there is a lot of contemplation here about one’s own situation and the world.   When this deep thought is coupled with the song’s so subtle that it’s heavy arrangement, the result is a deeply moving work that stands strong on its own merits.  It is just one more example of what makes the EP stand out.  The EPs closer and lead single ‘Dancing With Fire’ is yet another key addition to the record.

The musical arrangement at the heart of ‘Dancing With Fire’ is as fiery as the title implies.  Drummer Tommy McCullough and guitarist Justin Young lead the way this time out.  Omran and bassist Nick Frantianne add their own touch to the arrangement, fleshing it out even more and making it just as strong a finale for the EP as its opener was a start.  Fans of bands, such as Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses, and Poison will appreciate this arrangement.  It’s just one part of what makes this song shine.  The song’s lyrical content adds to its impact.

This is probably the easiest song to understand of the EP’s four tracks in terms of its lyrical content.  It clearly focuses on a person who is head over heels in love with another person.  This is made relatively clear early on as Omran sings in the song’s lead verse, “Well you’re pushin’ left/Pullin’ right/I can’t feel my hands tonight/Now, baby/yeah, you tell me when/tell me who/Stuck between a hard place and you/Sweet lady/You’ve been talking for so long/Putting up so strong/Forget about it/Got me feeling so wrong/Trapped in wire/’Cause I’ve been dancing with fire/Those flames keep burning up brighter/You’re walking past desire/But I can’t keep from loving you.”  This is pretty clear in its message.  This is someone who is crazy for that other person.  Any doubt is eliminated in the song’s second verse, which finds Omran singing, “Here we go/Go again/Ultimatums that never end/I’m hazy/With your smiling lips and your whispering tongue/Getting by/Saying you’re so young and lazy.”  Again, here audiences get someone whose mind is obsessed with that other person.  This readily accessible lyrical theme couples with the song’s equally accessible musical arrangement to make the song in whole the EP’s best song.  When it is considered with the other two songs noted here and the EP’s one remaining song, ‘Solo,’ the whole of the EP becomes a work that rock and roll purists everywhere will appreciate and a record that deserves its own consideration for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new EPs.

South of Eden’s second studio recording and debut EP The Talk is a positive new offering from the neo-classic rock band that purists of the genre will certainly appreciate.  That is due to its musical arrangements and lyrical content alike.  All three of the songs discussed here support that statement.  The EP’s one remaining song not addressed here supports that statement, too.  All things considered, the EP’s content overall makes it a record that will leave audiences talking.  Yes, that awful pun was intended.  It is scheduled for release Friday through Lava/Republic Records.

More information on South of Eden’s new EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Websitehttp://southofedenband.com

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‘The Talk’ Will Have Audiences Of All Races Talking

Courtesy: PBS/Public Media Distribution

Race and traffic stops.  The two matters have been prominent in the public eye in recent years thanks to stories of interactions between police and the public going very wrong.  What led those interactions to go bad is still being discussed nationwide to this day both in the media and in other arenas.  Because the issue has remained such a hot button topic, Public Media Distribution and PBS tackled the topic this past April with the powerful new documentary The Talk: Race in America on DVD.  The roughly two-hour program focuses on the clear rift that continues to divide America’s law enforcement community and the people who said community is supposed to protect and service.  It does this by presenting a series of segments that examine what has formed that rift.  Those segments form the foundation for this presentation and will be discussed shortly.  The discussions raised in each of the segments strengthen that foundation and will be discussed later.  The program’s pacing rounds out its most important elements.  Each noted element is important in its own right to the program’s presentation.  All things considered, they make The Talk: Race in America a program that is certain to have everyone talking for a very long time.

The Talk: Race in America is one of the most powerful programs that PBS and Public Media Distribution have presented to audiences in a very long time.  This roughly two-hour program — which addresses the clear rift between the police and the people that they are charged with protecting and serving — offers plenty to talk about, including its overall presentation.  Over the course of its two-hour run time, the program tackles the topic through a handful of segments addressing some headline-making incidents between police and the public.  The incidents include the case of Tamir Rice, who was fatally shot in 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio; the fatal shooting of Michael Brown the same year; the fatal police shooting of Oscar Ramirez in Los Angeles, CA in 2015 and other high-profile cases.  Those stories make up only one side of the story addressed in the program’s segments.  The segments that make up the program’s second hour allow law enforcement their time to show why law enforcement officers act (and react) the way that they do, even admitting that there are issues that need to be addressed with those actions and reactions.  From there, the program addresses training efforts being undertaken by law enforcement agencies nationwide to reduce those instances including in-house video training scenarios that discourage a shoot now – ask questions later mentality among officers.  Simply put, the segments presented here show, in a fully unbiased fashion just how very serious the issue of race relations still is today between the police and the public.  They show that this is an issue that must be publicly addressed and not brushed under the carpet.  They also show that the issue of rogue law enforcement officers must be addressed just as aggressively.  Keeping all of this in mind, the segments that make up the body of this program form a solid foundation for the documentary.  They are collectively not the program’s only key element.  The discussions raised in each segment are just as important to its overall presentation as the stories told throughout the segments.

The discussions presented throughout the course of The Talk: Race in America are critical to the program’s presentation because they show that efforts are being made on both sides of the badge nationwide to address the rift addressed through the program’s segments.  Viewers hear from law enforcement officials, community activists, and even celebrities to show that for all of the black and white (literal and metaphorical) that exists in that rift, there are also shades of grey.  There are those people on both sides who do in fact want that rift to be mended and who are working to close that gap.  Law enforcement officials discuss during their time the efforts that (as already noted) are being taken to train their own to de-escalate situations.  They also discuss the uncertainty of interactions that leads many officers to be so tense.  On the other side, there are those noted activists who organize public discussions with law enforcement officials that allow both sides to talk.  The program also includes a discussion by a minority couple who is teaching their son about the two sides so that he won’t become the next statistic one day, showing that maybe, just maybe, there is hope for the future.  At the same time, the couple also proves once more in its discussion that the tensions between police and minorities must continue to be addressed if that hope is to grow.  These discussions and so many others build on the foundation formed by the program’s segments and in turn show not only their own importance, but the importance of the program in whole that much more.  Even with their importance clearly displayed here, it can’t be said that the discussions are the last of the program’s most important elements.  The program’s pacing rounds out its most important elements.

The pacing of The Talk: Race in America is a critical part of the program’s whole because of its direct connection to the program’s segments and discussions (I.E. its overall content).  Considering that this program covers so much ground over the course of two hours, its pacing could have easily led audiences to fast forward through parts, ultimately making it a matter of what could have been.  Luckily though, that was not the case here.  From beginning to end, the segments and related material were balanced expertly both in terms of time and energy including even the segments’ transitions.  The attention to even the most minute details such as the transitions — and even the topics’ connections — ensures audiences’ engagement from beginning to end.  That ensured engagement will in turn lead viewers to see for themselves the importance of the program’s unbiased approach and the discussions connected to each segment.  That, in turn, will lead those viewers to agree to the importance of The Talk in whole to America and will most certainly leave viewers talking among themselves long after it ends.  The Talk: Race in America is available now.  It can be ordered online direct via PBS’ online store.  More information on this and other titles from PBS is available online now at:

 

 

 

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Cyrus, Warwick To Perform New Single Today On CBS’ The Talk

billyraycyrus_hopeisjustahead_cover_smallCountry musician Billy Ray Cyrus will appear today on CBS’ The Talk.

Cyrus will perform his new single, ‘Hope Is Just Ahead’ on the networks’ afternoon talk show.  Audiences can catch The Talk live on their local CBS station.  Viewers can check their local listings for broadcast times online at http://www.cbs.com/shows/the_talk.  He is expected to be joined by fellow veteran singer Dionne Warwick, with whom he also recorded the song.  The song has jumped to #60 and is most added on the A/C Chart in just its second week at radio.  The video for the new single can be viewed online now at http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2014/01/30/billy-ray-cyrus-dionne-warwick-premiere-new-duet/5044913/?AID=10709313&PID=6154686&SID=2f4szw8nt2dh and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyQfyMIH5Uk.

Cyrus explained in a recent interview how the meaning behind his new single has changed since it was originally written.  He explained that  was inspired by a school shooting, and that it has now done what it was meant to do.  “I initially started writing ‘Hope Is Just Ahead’ the day after the Columbine shootings with Don Von Tress,” he noted.  “I feel like ‘Hope Is Just Ahead’ has now found its purpose.  Cyrus will donate a portion of sales of the single to the “Do The Write Thing-National Campaign to Stop Violence.”  The group was developed to create awareness and stop violence among young people in schools before it has a chance to develop.

Cyrus discussed the “Do The Write Thing-National Campaign To Stop Violence” in his comments.  ‘Do The Write Thing is one of the few ideas I have seen in front of us as a society in America that can actually make an immediate and positive impact, a real difference in stopping violence in schools before it happens,” he said.  “If this concept can save one life, if the thought of early detection means one less Sandy Hook, VA Tech or movie theater massacre, then it needs our support.  He went on to add that “Edmund Burke said, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,’ so let’s no longer just stand back and say ‘I saw this coming, but did nothing.We have to try something, standing here debating and procrastinating, just ain’t working.”  More information on “Do The Write Thing-National Campaign To Stop Violence” is available online at http://www.dtwt.org/about-dtwt.

More information on Billy Ray Cyrus is available online at http://www.billyraycyrus.com and http://www.facebook.com/BillyRayCyrus.  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.