CD Review: A is for Atom “Song for You”

Posted: June 30, 2014 in Music
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A is for Atom A is for Atom is a New York-based Alternative Rock outfit formed by New York transplant Mike Cykoski when he decided that he had had enough playing behind other people. Once Cykoski decided to go in his own direction as far as music was concerned, he started creating songs that featured an Alternative Rock sound with a lot of orchestral feeling to it. To help promote his music, Mike Cykoski released two EPs worth of music. The latest of those releases is called Song for You.
The new release from A is for Atom begins with the track “Load up on Guns”. The track has a fun, light feel to the music as it contains a rather unusual mix of both acoustic guitars that help to build the main body of the song and electronic keyboards that add a slightly spacey feel to the track. In fact, the keyboards come in near the middle of the song and the resulting keyboard solo feels like something that might have come from a New Wave song from the 1980s. The song then changes directions near the end of the track when an electric guitar comes in and adds a little depth to the music. While the song’s title might sound like some kind of statement, the track is just a fun listening experience that happens to be very catchy.
Song for You from A is for Atom continues with the title track of the release. While “Load up on Guns” has a fun, easy feel to it, “Song for You” changes the emotional feel of the EP. As the song title was inspired by something Cykoski’s ex-girlfriend once said to him, the lyrics of this song play on the statement “you never wrote a song for me”. The track features a slow-paced, yet steady feel to it while the music itself falls somewhere between pop-rock and smooth jazz in a style that might remind some of music from a band like Steely Dan. If Elton John’s “Your Song” is the ultimate statement on love, maybe “Song for You” by A is for Atom can be seen as its antithesis.
While the first two tracks of Song for You from A is for Atom contain a style that could easily fit into today’s musical formats, Mike Cykoski takes the song “Bombs Away” in a completely different direction. The keyboard-driven track brings to mind many of the songs from the New Wave era of music. The track brings the listener back to a time when musicians were not only unafraid to try something new with their music; they wanted to push music as far as they could. The resulting track of “Bombs Away” from A is for Atom is one of those tracks that may feel a bit dated because of the use of drum loops and the particular keyboard sound produced on the track, but it can also feel just as fresh because it really doesn’t make you think of anyone else in the music industry today.
Mike Cykoski describes A is for Atom as a “melodic driven alt band”. Nowhere is that more evident than on the track “The White Dress”. In a track that may instrumentally bring to mind “The Fool on the Hill” by The Beatles, the piano-driven track builds as many different elements come together in such a manner that the track feels almost orchestrated. The track also features fine vocals that create a nice harmony to the lyrics of the song. Once the horns appear, the listener experiences a beauty in the song’s music that rarely appears in today’s music industry.
Song for You from A is for Atom comes to an end with the track “India”. The track is a strong pop-rock track that features a very strong keyboard-driven feel. While the song has a relatively timeless feel, the keyboard solo at the end of the track once again brings the music back to a more New Wave feel.
The new release from A is for Atom called Song for You is a pop-rock fan’s dream as Mike Cykoski creates music that can be very appealing to people who like a lot of different styles of rock and roll. The five songs contained within the release are a nice mix of sounds and there’s not a bad track on the release.
Reviewer: Matheson Kamin
Rating: **** (four stars)

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