Posts Tagged ‘top 40 radio’

Carla and CurtisWhen you take two different artists from different backgrounds and put them together to create something new, the results can either be good or bad. In the case of solo artists Carla Lynne Hall and Curtis Becraft (known together as Carla and Curtis), the results from their collaboration on their new release entitled Partake are obvious as the two artists combine their different backgrounds and musical tastes into one sound.

The reason that the sound continuously changes from song to song is because the two artists take turns as the head writer of the track. The tracks for the album come from albums already created by Curtis and Carla. When the two came together as one unit, the sound from each artist helped to create an interesting comparison to the other’s music. With two different sounds and feels going through the body of the release, Partake from Curtis and Carla continuously changes and that allows for a very fascinating and interesting release that will capture a lot of people’s attention.

Partake from Curtis and Carla begins with the album’s title track that was penned by Curtis Becraft. “Partake” is a song that has many facets to it. The song features a large amount of rock essence to it while also incorporating some R&B influence into the music and even Country influence in the form of twang on the lead guitar on the track, as well. The track has a strong drive to it because of the strong bass and drums that help lead the listener into the track. The saxophone on the song even adds more depth to the track.

With the track of “Supernova” from Carla Lynne Hall, the album takes on a very “pop-ish” feel to it. The track has a great hook and feels like something that could have been created by Macy Gray. The vocals from Carla are clear and bright while the music on the track feels as if it had been produced by a major record label. Having been written by Carla Lynne Hall and performed and produced by Christian Cassan, the song could absolutely find its way onto Top 40 radio.

While the track “Supernova” sounds as if it would belong alongside with songs from Macy Gray, the song “Crosstown Bus” from Curtis Becraft features a Lite Rock sound in the music that would have fit in with Top 40 songs that were on the radio back in the 70s. You can just imagine “Crosstown Bus” being played on the on an Adult Contemporary radio format before or after songs like “Tequila Sunrise” from The Eagles.

As the feel of Partake from Curtis and Carla changes from track to track, the song “Say Goodbye” from Carla features a very strong Funk vibe to it. The song helps to bring the two most important participants in the creation of Carla’s music to the forefront: Multi-instrumentalist and Producer Christian Cassan and Carla Lynne Hall herself. As the song was written by Lynne, you get to experience the writing and musical talent of Lynne as she performs the song with a lot of energy. While Christian Cassan helped bring out the best sound on the release as producer, he also added a lot to the music itself as he played many of the musical parts himself. With “Say Goodbye,” Cassan provided all of the music to the track and gave Carla Lynne the perfect musical backdrop on which to sing. Together, Christian Cassan and Carla Lynn create a song with a lot of style and power.

While the majority of Partake from Curtis and Carla finds the two personalities providing their own tracks for most of the release, they end up coming together near the end of the release and provide the listener with two live tracks (one original and one cover tune) of the two performing as one entity under the moniker of Curtis and Carla.

The first live track from Curtis and Carla is the original track of “It’s Good to Be Bad,” a song penned by Curtis Becraft. “It’s Good to Be Bad” features the guitar of Curtis Becraft and the duet vocals of Curtis and Carla. The song features a great sense of humor and is rather amusing.

The second live track from the duo on the album is Sheryl Crow’s “Strong Enough”. The track features Curtis on mandolin and Carla on lead vocals. The track allows to listener to hear the beautiful vocals from Carla without them being buried by a lot of other instruments. The single mandolin from Curtis Becraft, as well as his backing vocals, provides just enough music to make the track interesting to listen to.

The Partake release from Curtis and Carla is a release that provides the listener with two different sounds from two different artists at the same time. And while that could be a bad thing sometimes, the combination of the two artists does create a very unique and enjoyable listening experience. Several of the songs on the release are strong enough on their own to make the release with the purchase price, but the whole album is worth listening to.

Reviewer: Matheson Kamin
Rating: ***** (five stars)

Very few times will you ever find a band that lasts very long; but Jackopierce is one of the bands that are made up of musicians who just won’t give up. The musicians Jack O’Neill and Cary Pierce have taken their music in several directions over the years. With their new album of Everywhere All the Time, Pierce and O’Neill have created songs that have a very commercial sound to them. With that style, they are sure to make new fans to add to the huge list of fans they already have.

With the newest album of music from this musical group, the duo of Jack O’Neill and Cary Pierce seem to take many different approaches to the music on the album. From straight-out acoustic rock to songs with folk influence, the feeling on the Everywhere All the Time album changes from song to song, creating a release that promises something for everyone.

Everywhere All the Time starts off with the song “Into Me”. Taking some influence from Jason Mraz and some more of today’s pop/rock artists and bands, the rock song has a sound that has a good groove and will get people moving.

After one song with a good groove, Jackopierce creates yet another track with a groove. This time, the song “Finally Free” ends up feeling like the first single of the album. The light feeling of the acoustic and electric guitars combine together with a drumbeat that grabs your attention and won’t let go. The song brings to mind the sound of bands like Vertical Horizon and other pop/rock bands that would fit in on today’s Top 40 radio stations.

Taking a chance to create a sound all their own, the song “Around Me Now” by Jackopierce has a stronger rock feel than the previous tracks on the release. While it still has a pop feel that may remind some of songs by Sugar Ray, there’s enough originality in this track to give people something new to listen to.

Jackopierce takes a different approach with the song “Listen to Me”. The duo of Jack O’Neill and Cary Pierce create the song with an acoustic feel. The acoustic guitars and keyboards in the background take the listener into a folk state of mind. The song has a very catchy sound that may have you thinking of pop/rock from artists from the seventies. The folk feeling that blends with the acoustic rock on the song helps create a mellow feeling while keeping the catchy melody of the song strong.

Sometimes O’Neill and Pierce wear their influences too much on their sleeves; this is definitely the case with the song “Alright By Me”. It is on this very catchy song that the duo brings forward some influence from Blessid Union of Souls into their musical mix. The song about a girl who falls in love with the narrator of the song comes a bit too close to Blessid Union’s best known track “Hey Leonardo“. Though “Alright By Me” could stand on its own if you knew nothing of Blessid Union, for those who do know the band, the connection between the two bands on this song is too obvious; whether O’Neill and Pierce were aware of that connection or not.

Jack O’Neill and Cary Pierce let the lyrics of “Let Go of Me” come to forefront of the song. The ability to take a soft rock song and let the lyrics take control is a sign of good songwriting. “Let Go of Me” is one of the best songs as far as the lyrics are concerned. The play between the two vocalists during the chorus of the song creates one of the best choruses on the whole release. And with the accordion in the background, “Let Go of Me” is one of the best tracks on the newest release from Jackopierce.

The album stays with a soft rock feel with the next song of “Lonely”. Like the song “Let Go of Me” before, “Lonely” plays with your heart as you listen to the emotional lyrics of the song. Like other moments on the album, “Lonely” feels like it comes from a different era of rock. The beauty in the song brings to mind some of the artists in the 70s. In fact, you might find a little bit of The Eagles in the music to the song.

From the pop/rock of “Into Me,” the groove found on “Finally Free,” and the soft rock on songs like “Let Go of Me” and “Lonely,” Jackopierce has created a new release that gives the listener many different styles of rock music on the album. For longtime fans of the band, this is a solid release that should make you happy. For those about to discover the music of the band, Everywhere All the Time’s ever-changing musical style will give you many songs that will fit into your music library. There’s a lot of good music on this release no matter where you fall.

To discover the music of Jackopierce, here is the video to the band’s songAround Me Now“.