Artist: Fell Far Behind
CD Name: Reaching the Red Line
Artist Site: Fell Far Behind
This eight track follow up album to Fell Far Behind’s debut is standard for the pop punk genre. I felt overall there were no stand out tracks and that the songs pretty well flat lined. However, the lyrics for all of these songs are very impressive. "Testing The Waters" seems to be a powerful plea for suicide prevention: “One step/just swallow/so seemed a genius plan/a romantic way to pass/arrogantly testing the waters…She saw not a problem/in taking her life before fully led.”
The rhyme is impressive too on The Antidote: “Still/silent demands/I’ll need more then a bland suggestive stance/warning me to kiss you fast/This time I better make it last.”
In further defense of the band, they do have a good drummer and the lead vocalist does sound a bit like Dexter Holland of The Offspring. The mix on the album was pretty cool – shifting all the elements periodically from side to side for a good surround stereo sound.
Personally after seeing the proliferation of bands like this I have gotten completely bored by the harmonized pop punk boy band sound. It’s all about the live performance though, and I’m sure these guys can pack the punch. That is made apparent by the album’s final cut Close For Comfort. A bit more acoustical in the mix the song holds back on the percussion and emphasizes the vocal harmonies. They can definitely play!
Artist: Gina Cutillo
CD Name: : From Here To Desire
Artist Site: Gina Cutillo
Gina Cutillo sounds a bit like Amy Lee of Evanescence. The songs on From Here To Desire are definitely radio ready with Collective Soul style rock riff song structure on opening tracks The Blame and Walked Out On You.
This is a well produced new wave pop rock album that definitely reminded me of The Bangles thanks to vocal layering on songs like So Alive, a song that grabs you with almost a My Sharona style bass line. Capturing a live quality by scraping the guitar strings, Gina masters the dynamics; kicks it down low and builds those crescendos. And just as easily works the sonic space with Change My Mind as her tin vocals get filtered for a claustrophobic and almost insane, “Lalalala.” This particular song impresses with a drum solo and feedback finale that weaves back and forth enough to make you dizzy. Let me put it this way – It was reminding me of Jimi Hendrix’s Axis: Bold As Love album. Rock on!
A few songs are out of place but do show you that Gina is playing with form, like the acoustic, Only. You Know is an unusual ‘50s style doo wop love ballad that attempts to weave itself into a pop rock song. Hey, if The Bangles could cover Simon & Garfunkel’s Hazy Shade Of Winter, why not right? Then there is the Spanish song. Actually, only the chorus is Spanish. I was not a fan of Mi Amor, which sounded as though it was grasping for a vocal melody over an unvarying guitar riff. The song just goes “Over, over, over…” Yes, I wanted it be over.
Gina is a singer/songwriter and the lyrics are strong. On Want More Gina’s hook is, “My faith is in the process.” On Go On And Get It Gina’s strength shouts out again, “It feels good lately when I’m taking what I want cause I need to straighten my mistaken life.” It is not surprising then when Gina does a spot on cover of Til Tuesday’s Voices Carry. The song is complete with the keyboard elements, so nearly perfect it borders on impersonation. The only thing to differentiate this cover from the original is the simple guitar that fades out at the song’s conclusion with some spoken word. As if Gina needed to confirm that From Here To Desire is indeed a new wave rock album, this leaves no room to doubt!
CD Name: : In A Different Light
Artist Site: Wiltrud
This album might throw you off a bit if you aren’t prepared to expect the new age style. If you like Sarah Brightman or Enya you might enjoy this album. Don’t expect that sort of production or flashiness though. But it definitely has an Enigma feel to it.
The title track features a sparse jazz simplicity broken up with bits of hand drums, which consistently bridge the songs throughout this album. Harlem À Minuit is more jazz sax and Cuban rhythms. If you enjoyed Bjork’s Vespertine album you might dig on these sounds.
The song Fears reminded me of Poe’s album, Haunted in that it uses the concept of integrating vocal recordings into an alternative soundscape. Fears is a modern day reflection on terrorism. A montage of reassuring “Have a safe day,” met with scientific “Fear is a heightened hesitation in your body and your mind,” along with what sounds to be man-on-the-street interviews. This is over didgeridoo sounds, moody Chris Isaak style guitar flourishes, more of those Cuban rhythms and gentle subtle harmonica blows. This is lounge music with an edge.
Though not featured on the radio mixes I would call Fly High the stand out single of this album. I absolutely loved this song. Wiltrud’s soprano voice is so pretty!! Songs like this remind me of whimsical romantic fantasy films like The Princess Bride. Yes, and that is the best way I can describe it. Sigh.
Longing (Porgi Amor) begins with a number being dialed, and the voice of an operator saying, “The number you have reached has been disconnected…” What follows is flute, French, and operatic phrasing. Definitely eclectic! And that diversity continues on In Your Light which is sung in both German and English. This song builds with violin strings into a keyboard bass line and then some new wave rave beats reminding me very much of Annie Lennox. This album is ready to go out clubbin’ for sure.